Sunday, January 20, 2013

In Memory....

Adopted at 3 days of age and deeply loved by her parents…
smiling picture of Ashley Smith
Loved her home in the Canadian east coast….                          
Loved collecting pebbles…
Always afraid of the dark….
Always needed a light on at night…
At the age of  10, secretly adopted an older local homeless man and made sure he had an ongoing supply of the family’s granola bars….
Puberty was a bit difficult ….
Youth jail at the age of 15…..
Spent her final year in solitary confinement….
While in jail, her parents would phone her and she believed her father’s encouraging words that she could be “the little train that could…”
Her parents were reassured by a social worker …
The best thing would be to let “the system” take care of her…
Shunted 17 times among nine different prisons in five provinces…
 With  very little treatment for her mental illness….
Died in adult jail at the age of 19 far away from home…..
With a self-made ligature….
Prison guards watched….
3.6 million dollars later and the suppression of reports  the Canadian government  has failed to hide her crime….
Assault?  Break and enter? Murder?  What was the crime?
Ashley Smith, I’m so sorry….you could have been my daughter, you could have been anyone’s daughter…
You were a wonderful advocate for the vulnerable….but  “the system”  was more powerful….
Ashley, your biggest crime? 
Little crab apples….thrown at your hometown postal worker….because you thought he was keeping your neighbour’s welfare cheques….
Your mom says she still keeps the light on for you…


  1. A blistering piece - thank you so much for letting me link to it. This deserves to be read. I'm enjoying your new blog.

  2. As a concerned community, we need to look out for each other. Thank you Dave

  3. That was beautiful. I have only recently become aware of the horrible death of this obviously ill woman and the reports (Toronto Star) have left me aghast. At what point do we forget that we are in the "human" services field. These are human lives that we are choosing to dedicate our career to and come heaven or hell if I ever saw someone I supported with a ligature around their neck, I would have run in there. We are taught intervene when it is : "harm to themselves or others". I understand attention seeking *aka* cry for help. A ligature around someone's neck is never attention seeking. My heartfelt condolences to her and her family.

    1. Well said. thank you. Unfortunately it wasn't Ashley's first attempt....she tried many, many times.