Siobhan “Shev” Louise Russell was a born leader. She was a joyful baby, with a determination to get up, and get going. She walked early, and talked early. As soon as she could walk, she danced. As soon as she talked, she sang. Siobhan was loving, generous and free-spirited. If she could help you, she was happy. She was a unique person, and did not want to follow the crowd, but to be herself, and to be accepted for who she was. She expressed herself through art, music, color (especially her hair!) and creative writing. Shev was a ‘straight A’ student. Concepts came easily to her.
Difficulties in her abusive relationship caused her grades to plummet, for her to become isolated from family and friends, and eventually to drop out of high school just months before graduating.
Following a ‘revelation’ on a beach one day, Shev began putting her life back together. In February 2009, she graduated from an amazing, alternative high school, Mountain View. She graduated with honors and a scholarship. She was invited to be a student speaker, and spoke with hope and excitement for her future. It was, she said, The Happiest Day of My Life.
Shev was heading to college, writing a novel, and working double shifts as a waitress to make her dream of becoming a psychologist come true. She did not know she had only nine weeks to live following her triumphant speech.
On Easter Sunday, April 12 2009, Shev made a visit to the home of her abuser, her ex-boyfriend. She did not come out alive. Inside, shaded from a beautiful spring day, he brutally, and deliberately murdered her. She was 19 ½ years young.
40 Years for Herndon Murder
Washington Post article, October 25th 2010.
“Sometimes I feel so very lucky”
“I hate drama and I avoid confrontations and fights”
-Siobhan Louise Russell