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Gov. Mapp Honors Memory of 823 Murder Victims on St. Croix Since 1974

CHRISTIANSTED — Governor Kenneth Mapp said that he participated in the 10th annual observance of National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims on Tuesday.

Sharing some personal experiences on the sobering topic, Mapp recalled a childhood friend being murdered by her former spouse.

“Murder is a crime that not only destroys the victim, but destroys the victim’s family and friends,” Mapp said.

As part of a presentation entitled “Reflections of Life & Love,” The Women’s Coalition of St. Croix (WCSTX) showcased a “Wall of Remembrance” with the names of 823 residents of St. Croix whose murders, dating from 1974 until now, remain unsolved.

The observance also featured a screening of “No One Knows,” a poignant song about domestic violence and abuse, written and performed by Mada Nile.

Mapp said that he was involved with WCSTX while a senator in the 15th Legislature, which passed the first set of Domestic Violence statutes in the territory.

LaVonne Wise, Fundraising Coordinator for WCSTX, spoke about the “USVI Says No More” campaign which was initiated last year as a collaboration between WCSTX, the V.I. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council, and the Family Resource Center.

“The campaign’s goal is to put an end to domestic violence and sexual assault in the territory through education, support and prevention. Participants take the ‘USVI Says No More’ pledge and share the website with everyone,” Wise told the audience at Sunny Isle Amphitheater.

The observance of September 25 as a National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims began in 2007, with Congress designating the date to reflect on those whose lives have been lost to homicide and to honor their memories. The day also focuses on the impact of murder on families and communities as well as ways to support survivors.

For more information on the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix, go to

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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