Record of the Dead for October 2010

Please note that this list focuses on the murder of people with disabilities.

This list of October 2010 media reports about people with disabilities murdered or dying under strange circumstances is presented without commentary, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing people may want to discuss about it in comments. I do not believe for a moment that this list is complete. It is sorted alphabetically by last name. Almost all links are to news reports.

Salvatore Agostino, 73, undefined disabilities, Tampa, Florida, October 20. “Upper body trauma”, Agostino’s store was robbed as well.

Karandeep Arora, 18, blind with difficulties walking, Delhi, India, October 24. His parents strangled him before killing themselves. [More details about this case.]

Alan Atkin, 62, undefined disabilities, Darlington, United Kingdom, April 2010. Beaten to death in his home. [More about this case]

Zahra Clare Baker, 10, Deaf, cancer, prosthetic limb, Hickory, North Carolina, sometime after 9 October. As of this writing, Zahra’s body hasn’t been found.

Jessie Buchsbaum, 17, learning disabilities, Boyertown, Pensylvania, October 25. Jesse committed suicide after being bullied by classmates for being disabled.

Damian Clough, 12, autism and “learning difficulties”, Keighley, England, April 4, 2009. Died in a deliberately-set house fire. The inside handle on Damian’s bedroom door had been torn off. [More details about this case.]

Byron DeBassige, 28, schizophrenia, Toronto, Ontario, February 16, 2008. Shot by police in a confrontation over two stolen lemons.

Mario Eder, 55, spinal cord injury, speech difficulties, unspecified cognitive disability, Waianae, Hawaii, US, October 1. House fire.

Linda Gibbs, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, October 5. Hit by a car while crossing the street.

Brian Goh Kah Heng, 19, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, October 23. Severe internal injuries and bruises, ruptured spleen and severe injuries to his anus. The care center where Goh was living has since been closed.

Kevin Geyer, 19, undefined cognitive disabilities, Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, October 26. Shot in the back during an apparent robbery.

Francecca Hardwick, 18, “severely disabled”, Barwell, England, 2009. Mother killed herself and Francecca after years of bullying, police are currently being sued for not doing anything to end it.

Ernie Hernandez Jr., 37, “developmentally disabled”, Modesto, California, August 14. Stabbed to death.

Philip Holmes, 56, undefined physical disabilities resulting from a work-related accident, Rhyl, Denbighshire, United Kingdom, April 16, 2010. His body was discovered by his caretaker, having been “severely assaulted.”

Patrick Johnson, 18, “had the intelligence level of a 5- to 7-year-old”, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Died after police used a “stun gun” twice on him, after being called to assist the family.

Courtland Lucas, 32, heart condition & pacemaker, St. Louis, Missouri, May 25, 2009. Died in jail because he was not given the medication he needed to survive. Other cases of people with disabilities in prison not receiving the health care they needed are also discussed in the news report.

David Lauberts, 50, undefined disabilities, Greeley, Colorado, Sept. 25, 2009. Apparently died sometime before the house fire his brother set to hide the death, Lauberts was found to have bedsores that had eaten through to his bones.

Jonathan Lowbridge, 20, undefined psychiatric-related disabilities, Reading, Berkshire, UK, May 23, 2008. Lowbridge was a voluntary patient who was supposed to be under close supervision due to suicide attempts, he escaped from the hospital and killed himself.

Shannon McLean, 39, “a rare disorder that left her immobilized and in bed nearly 24 hours a day”, Caesarea, Ontario, October 3. House fire.

Wieslawa Zofia Pytlinski, 57, undisclosed disabilities, Knox County, Tennessee, October 4. She died “of multiple blunt force trauma to the upper body”, murdered by her boyfriend.

Donnie “Butch” Phillips, 50, “developmentally disabled”, Wilkesboro, North Carolina, September 29. Choked to death on an outing from his group home. His caregiver has been charged with second-degree murder.

Brian Sinclair, 45, “double amputee with a speech impediment”, Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 19, 2008. Died of a bladder infection while waiting in the emergency ward of Winnipeg’s largest hospital.

Jaffar Shah, “lost his legs in a car accident”, Nazimabad, Sindh, Pakistan, October 22. Shah, a disability rights activist, was shot while playing with his 2 year old son outside his home. His death sparked multiple protests.

Joanne Sexton, 56, undefined disabilities that included being hooked up to oxygen tanks, Springfield, Massachusetts, October 19. House fire.

Henry David Vernon, 55, “deaf, mute, developmentally disabled and mentally ill”, Tacoma, Washington, July 29, 2009. Hyperthermia while in a group home. His temperature had reached 107 F/41.7 C.

Leonard Alfred Willson III, 53, paraplegic, Bath, South Carolina, sometime in the week before October 7. Murdered. Two people have been charged in his death, one of whom Willson was tutoring in school.

Lemuel Wallace, blind and cognitive disabilities, Baltimore, Maryland, February 4, 2009. Gunshot to the head. “A year and a half after Baltimore police uncovered a murder-for-hire scheme in which they say two men conspired to kill a blind and mentally disabled man for insurance money, detectives believe they have found the man who pulled the trigger.”

News Reports regarding allegations of abuse in long-term care homes:

Group Homes Owner Faces Loss of License

  • Failing to prevent a Northwest Care resident with a known history of drinking potentially harmful liquids from doing it twice: first a bottle of floor cleaner and later a 1.75-liter bottle of mouthwash containing 26.9 percent alcohol. The resident was hospitalized after the mouthwash incident with a blood-alcohol level of 0.42 percent — more than five times the legal limit
  • nadequately supervising group home residents, including three who were left alone at a community basketball game; one who was left in a hot, locked car and unable to get out while a staff member went shopping; and another who was found wandering in the street at 3:30 a.m. after a staff member had fallen asleep.
  • Locking a Northwest Care resident alone in his room for two hours despite his reported screams to be freed. Investigators said the facility had previously used this type of discipline in violation of state law and had reversed the resident’s door handle so it could be locked from the hallway.

Daphne Campbell: Big Debts, Shady Dealings

  • M.C., 48, “mentally challenged” and schizophrenia, died after being raped, October 12, 2006
  • In April 2006, a resident at a home in Lehigh Acres was admitted to a hospital with a facial cut and a fungal infection. He passed away soon after.
  • In July 2006, a resident at the same property perished after choking on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  • In August 2006, a man living in another of the Campbells’ group homes in Miami expired of a suspected bowel obstruction two days after entering a hospital.

By 10 November, 2010.    deaths, domestic violence, Record of the Dead   



8 Comments

  1. I hate these posts. I hate them so, so much. But I’m so grateful that you write them, that somebody cares enough to remember them all. Thank you.

  2. It ends up knocking me for a loop every month. I hate it too.

  3. “Died in a deliberately-set house fire. The inside handle on Damian’s bedroom door had been torn off. ”

    This made me absolutely shudder. Dear god. However, I do want to point out that the article said it was the external door handle that was torn off. Not that that makes much of a difference.

    Awful, awful, awful.

  4. And oh my god what is *this*: “Lauberts was found to have bedsores that had eaten through to his bones.”?!?! And the killer gets *probation*?!?! I… need to step away from this for a while. Tthank you so much for writing this, though. Someone needs to hear these stories, even if– hell, especially *because* they’re so horrendous.

  5. I am speechless, this is so horrible. I write about abuse and murder of disabled people myself, but seeing this list has me stunned.

  6. I saw “alan” “darlington” and “UK” and my heart stopped. For a moment I thought it was my uncle. It wasn’t. Thank God.

  7. Thank you for compiling these.

  8. Thank you for writing these up, for keeping a voice out there, reminding me, and them to do something.