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Today I found out that my mother named me after a murdered girl.

Posted October 7, 2011 | 11 Comments

The Death of Dana Marie Weaver

My birth name wasn’t Janeson Keeley; it was Donna Marie Duvall. (The whys, hows, and wherefores of that are now here.)

I wasn’t named after anyone in my family. The story was that my father wanted to name me Danielle (Danielle Duvall?!?), but my mother had known a girl in high school whose name, Dana Marie, she liked. She decided that she liked “Donna” better than “Dana,” though, so Donna Marie it was.  BOR-ing – or so I thought until today.

I was going through my Blogroll, seeing which blogs were still active and which weren’t (a year is my cut-off since I’ve gone months without writing here). One of the links is to Beth Macy’s blog, Intrepid Paper Girl. I went there and the title of the most recent post caught my eye: Journalism Ethics: Mystery desserts, midnight karma and the best story I never wrote.

It’s a good post about journalistic ethics, but when I got to: “In 1949 a 16-year-old Eagle Scout killed a beautiful Jefferson High School cheerleader in the basement of a prominent church,” I had to try to get some more information about that because my mother was a student at Jefferson then.  I Googled “roanoke murder 1949 eagle scout” and found a link to a newspaper archive with the article in it.

The girl’s name was Dana Marie Weaver.

Funny, but Mom never mentioned that part….

For more information about Dana and her murder:

Grave Marker – Dana Marie Weaver is buried at Evergreen Burial Park, where my mother and her family are buried, and where my husband and I have spaces.

Girl Slain with Bottle in Kitchen of Church

Eagle Scout Charged With Murder Of Girl at Church

16 Year Old Choir Singer Charged With Church Murder of Young Girl

Boy, 16, Admits Church Killing of Schoolmate [Flash viewer]

Met Murdered Girl at Scene of Killing, Athlete, 16, Admits

Category: Welcome to My Life


11 Comments to “Today I found out that my mother named me after a murdered girl.”

  1. mariodacatsmom
    October 7th, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    Don’t you just love surprises of this nature. Family secrets – they hd plenty of them in those days.

  2. janeson
    October 7th, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

    [ insert Twilight Zone music ]

  3. Bob Gold
    February 10th, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

    I was a Jefferson high school sophomore in 1949 when the murder took place. I went to boy scout meetings in the same church. I vividly remember the murder and the shock that went through the community. BTW, my family also has a plot in Evergreen cemetary.

  4. Dana Foster
    October 19th, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    I also named after Dana Marie Weaver!
    there are times I fell my Mothere was sick, to name me after someone that had sucha tragic death! After reading this artical, I will change my attitude!

  5. laurie platt
    May 1st, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    I have so many articles on this crime, what a tragic thing to happpened. It was “The Crime of the Century” here in Roanoke.

  6. janeson
    May 1st, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    Laurie – And so strange that I didn’t hear about it until a couple of years ago!

  7. laurie platt
    May 1st, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

    More about Dana and Lee Scott. Lee was pardoned in 1968 or around that time by the governor of Virginia. If he is still alive, I belive he lives in Ohio.

  8. Marilyn Sink
    October 6th, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    Oh my gosh!!! I can’t believe this – I have searched on line for ages since I have been on line trying to find something about this case.
    I was in Lee Jr High when this happened and there were many classmates who knew Dana Marie from church. My sister Ann was in Jefferson and knew both of them.

  9. laurie platt
    November 1st, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

    In the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of the Roanoker, they had done an article about Dana written by Nelson Harris

  10. janeson
    November 2nd, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    Thanks for letting me know! I’ll have to check that out. It might help explain all the folks who’ve found my posts about her recently.

  11. laurie platt
    November 2nd, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

    Nelson Harrie who wrote up a story about Dana will speak at the Raleigh Court Civic League Meeting 7pm on Nov 14 at the Christ Lutheran Church on Grandin Rd.

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