Under The Radar Violence
In The Conflict Over Abortion


As you read these cases, there are several things to keep in mind.

  • Because of some insurmountable research barriers associated with these cases, those shown here represent no more than a tiny fraction of the whole. In fact, they are not even all the examples we were able to uncover, but are merely a representative sample of them.
  • These cases only deal with instances in which the victim died and do not include the much larger group of women who survived being beaten, shot, stabbed or worse.
  • The details of the attacks committed against the women and girls in these particular cases are not unusual. To the contrary, they are typical of the cases we found. In fact, we often softened the descriptions of them in order to keep this report from becoming unnecessarily graphic and difficult to read.

At the beginning of each file, the victim’s name is given followed by her age, the year she was killed and the state in which her death took place. Also included is whether her refusal to have an abortion was either the Confirmed or the Self-Evident motive for her murder.

This latter designation was necessary in order to address the fact that media and law enforcement reports often state that the victim was killed because the perpetrator “was angry about the pregnancy” or “didn’t want the baby” or “claimed that the baby wasn’t his” or said that he “wasn’t ready to be a father,” etcetera. As explained earlier, our research shows that when a male displays these kinds of attitudes about his partner’s pregnancy, his first reaction will be to demand that she have an abortion. In almost every incident in which violence ensues, its motive will be that she refused to comply.

Rabsatt, Stephanie

Age: 17, Date: 2009, State: FL

Abortion Motive Confirmed

Ms. Rabsatt’s body was found in a car parked beside a Winn-Dixie grocery store. She died from a gunshot wound to the head. A second shot to her stomach had also killed her unborn child. Authorities charged the baby’s father, Edward Jermaine Babbs, with murder after law enforcement investigators determined that he killed Ms. Rabsatt because she had refused his demand to have an abortion.

[Sun-Sentinel.com 1-3-2012 • Post Newsweek 1-6-2012]

Raynor, Selene Kelsi

Age: 21, Date: 2009, State: PA

Abortion Motive Self-Evident

Ms. Raynor was pregnant with the child of Tyrell Hart when she was killed by a single gunshot to the face. In a signed statement to police, Hart confessed that he killed her because she was going to have the baby. He said he was “angry and frustrated over her being pregnant,” adding that “I wasn’t ready for that.” His trial is scheduled for March of 2012.

[Philadelphia Inquirer 10-17-2009 • Philadelphia Daily News 1-13-2010]

Rivera, Lorena Iliana

Age: 21, Date: 1997, State: OK

Abortion Motive Confirmed

Ms. Rivera disappeared from Oklahoma City and her body was later discovered in an unmarked grave. Law enforcement investigators were able to determine that she had been shot to death by her ex-boyfriend, Nathaniel Dee Smith, and his new girlfriend, Virginia Ramirez. Affidavits produced during their trial showed that Ms. Rivera was pregnant with Smith’s child and that he had threatened to kill her unless she had an abortion. She refused and, about one month later, Smith and Ramirez conspired to kill her. Both were eventually convicted of murder and given life sentences.

[Tulsa World News 7-19-1997 • The Daily Oklahoman 7-18-1997 / 12-20-1997]

Sepulveda, Elaine Amanda

Age: 15, Date: 2004, State: WA

Abortion Motive Confirmed

Two months after Ms. Sepulveda’s family reported her missing, her badly decomposed body was found in a shallow grave. Her boyfriend, James L. Sanders, was arrested for the crime after witnesses told police that he was angry about her being pregnant with his child and that the couple had been arguing about her refusal to get an abortion. In 2005, Sanders pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and was given eight and a half years in prison.

[KOMO-TV Seattle 1-20-2005 • The Seattle Post Intelligencer 1-20-2005 • The Whidbey News Times 5-4-2005]

Sills, Tavia

Age: 18, Date: 2008, State: LA

Abortion Motive Self-Evident

Lamondre Markes Tucker and an accomplice shot Ms. Sills twice and attempted to set her on fire with a flammable liquid. After she jumped into a nearby pond, they shot her a third time. Prosecutors stated that Tucker’s motive for the murder was that Ms. Sills was pregnant with his child and he didn’t want a second baby because he had just had one with another woman. In 2011, a jury convicted him of murder and sentenced him to death.

[The Shreveport Times 3-22-2011 • KTBS News 3-2-2011 • KSLA TV News 3-19- 2011 / 6-29-2011]

Smith, Antwonyia

Age: 18, Date: 2004, State: TX

Abortion Motive Self-Evident

When Terrence Chadwick Lawrence learned that Ms. Smith was pregnant with his child, he told another girlfriend that he was going to “take care of” the problem. He later shot Ms. Smith three times with a shotgun. In 2006, he was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life in prison. The judge in his trial stated that, “…it is clear that Lawrence knew that his victim was pregnant, that he killed her because she was pregnant, and that he intended to kill the fetus…”

[Court of Criminal Appeal of Texas No. PD-0236-07 • The Laredo Times 11-23-2007]

Smith, Ingrid

Age: 15, Date: 2005, State: TX

Abortion Motive Confirmed

Ronald M. Hill, a 32-year-old father of four, began a sexual relationship with Ms. Smith after meeting her through an internet chat room service. Prosecutors say that after Hill learned she was pregnant, he slashed her throat because she refused to have an abortion. An autopsy showed that Ms. Smith was not pregnant. In a 2006 trial, Hill received a life sentence.

[Ft. Worth Star Telegram 4-9-2005 / 3-3 & 4-2006]

Snyder, Jennifer Lindsay

Age: 27, Date: 2011, State: PA

Abortion Motive Self-Evident

Authorities say that David Adam Rapoport shot Ms. Snyder twice in the mouth and once in the head before dumping her body in a nature preserve. Rapoport was married at the time and law enforcement investigators say that he acted out of anger over the fact that Ms. Snyder was pregnant with his child. One witness told police that Rapoport “flipped out” when he learned about the pregnancy. In December of 2011, he pleaded guilty and was given life without the possibility of parole.

[The Morning Call 5-12-2011 / 12-8-2011 • Associated Press 5-11-2011 • The Express-Times 6-10-2011]

Sookdeo, Amelia Sabrina

Age: 17, Date: 2006, State: FL

Abortion Motive Self-Evident

When Dane Patrick Abdool was told by Ms. Sookdeo that she was pregnant with his child, he offered two teenage boys $400 to kill her in an apparent attempt to conceal the relationship from his new girlfriend. Law enforcement officials say that, when this failed, he lured the victim to a remote area, poured gasoline on her and set her on fire. Her body was still burning when police discovered it the next day. In 2008, Abdool was convicted of murder and given the death penalty.

[WKMG Local 6 News Orlando 3-3-2006 • Orlando Sentinel 2-20-2008 • Ninth Judicial Circuit # 48-2006-CF-002848-O]

Stevenson, Tanika

Age: 24, Date: 1997, State: GA

Abortion Motive Confirmed

When Ms. Stevenson told Derrick Clements that she was pregnant with his child, he pressured her to have an abortion and even offered her money to do so. When she refused, he shot her in the back of the head and put her body in the trunk of her car. Police investigators discovered that Clements had insisted on the abortion in order to keep his wife from learning about the affair he was having with Ms. Stevenson. In 1999, he was convicted of her murder and given life in prison.

[Columbus Ledger Enquirer 9-13-2011 • Supreme Court of Georgia S11A0628 and S11X0699]

Stewart-McKinnie, Ceeatta Kim

Age: 23, Date: 2002, State: VA

Abortion Motive Self-Evident

Ms. Stewart-McKinnie was killed by Willis Edward Anderson after he learned that she was pregnant with his child. When her body was found, police estimated that she had been struck at least 25 times with a heavy tool or hammer. At trial, it was shown that Anderson killed her because he was concerned that the pregnancy was going to interfere with his way of life and force him to pay child support. One of Ms. Stewart-McKinnie’s relatives testified that she had undergone a previous abortion and had repeatedly stated that she would never have another one. In 2002, Anderson was convicted of her murder and given 50 years in prison.

[Washington Post 12-20-2004 • Richmond Times Dispatch 11-8-2002 • Supreme Court of Virginia Record #032661]

Stowe, Rebecca Lynn

Age: 15, Date: 1993, State: MI

Abortion Motive Confirmed

More than two years after Ms. Stowe disappeared from her home, her body was found on property owned by her boyfriend’s uncle. She had been strangled and her neck was broken. Authorities established that the boyfriend, Robert Eugene Leamon, had killed her because she was pregnant with his child and had refused his demand to have an abortion. In 1997, a jury convicted Leamon of murdering Ms. Stowe and sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

[Michigan Court of Appeals No. 201833 • Detroit Free Press 3-1-1997]

Stuart, Carol DiMaiti

Age: 30, Date: 1989, State: MA

Abortion Motive Confirmed

Ms. Stuart was shot in the head and her husband, Charles, was shot in the stomach while they sat in the family car. He told police that they were attacked and robbed by a black man, setting off a manhunt in Boston’s black neighborhoods and the arrest of a suspect. However, police eventually determined that Charles Stuart had murdered his wife and then shot himself in an effort to support his robbery claim. Witnesses, including Stuart’s brother, testified that he had sought their help in killing his wife because she was pregnant and refused to have an abortion. Before the case could go to trial, Stuart committed suicide.

[Newsday 3-6-2003 • New York Times 1-21-1990 • Time Magazine 1-24-2001]

Sulk, Daphne Kristel

Age: 15, Date: 1997, State: WY

Abortion Motive Confirmed

Ms. Sulk was pregnant by 38-year-old Kevin James Robinson when her body was found in a wooded area. She had been savagely beaten and stabbed 17 times in the neck and chest. Witnesses testified that Robinson murdered her in a violent rage because he had demanded that she have an abortion and she would not agree to do so. In 1998, he was convicted and sentenced to 22-to-29 years in prison.

[The Associated Press 8-31-1998 / 9-28-2000 • The Supreme Court of Wyoming #99-167]