User:Agne27/Anna Svidersky "Non-memorial"

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Anna Svidersky
Born (1988-04-26)April 26, 1988
Novoorenburg, Russia
Died April 20, 2006
Vancouver, Washington, USA

Anna Esther Svidersky (April 26, 1988April 20, 2006) was a teenager who lived in the U.S. city of Vancouver, Washington, and was murdered while working in a McDonald's restaurant, by schizophrenic sex offender David Barton Sullivan.[1] News of her death quickly spread worldwide, initially through the Internet friends site MySpace, where she had a personal page, and then through other similar sites. This created an effect of mass grief and mourning for her around the world, dubbed "mourning sickness" by the news media,[2] mostly from people who had previously known nothing about her. It has led to the creation of memorial web pages and memorial online videos, one of which has been viewed over 3,000,000 times.[3]


Anna Svidersky was born in Russia. Her family came from Novoorenburg, a small city near the border with Kazakhstan and about 900 miles southeast of Moscow.[4] They moved to California before her second birthday. She has an older brother, Peter, by one year, and sisters, Christina, one year younger, and Elizabeth, seven years younger. In 2001 her mother, Esther, moved with the children to Vancouver, Washington, where she has relatives, after a divorce from Andrew Svidersky.[5]


David Barton Sullivan, who had previously been convicted twice of sex crimes, left his home on the day of the murder with the single intention of "hurting a female", and according to police, did not know Anna Svidersky.[6] He entered the Andresen Road McDonald's at around 8 pm and stabbed her with a kitchen knife.[7] The knife penetrated her side and reached her heart. She died that night in Portland's Legacy Emanuel Hospital.[5]

Sullivan was captured soon after the attack. He had discarded the knife he used, but was still covered in blood when discovered.[8] He was charged with first-degree murder, but on June 26, 2007, he was acquitted by reason of insanity and was committed indefinitely to a mental hospital.[1]


The murder dominated the news in her home town. A dedicated page put up on MySpace by Svidersky's friends received 1,200 posts in 3 days.[9] Internet users on other sites such as YouTube also posted tributes with one video tribute receiving over a million views. Some online gamers used Svidersky's image in role-playing games, which upset those who knew her personally.[2]

The news of Svidersky's murder spread worldwide within days through internet sites, creating a phenomenon of collective grief from users, the great majority of whom were complete strangers to her. In Britain The Guardian newspaper compared the widespread expression of grief by strangers to that seen after the death of Princess Diana. The paper cited the 2004 Civitas think-tank, which described such grief as "mourning sickness", related to people's own emotional needs, rather than any real rapport with the deceased.[2]

By three months after Svidersky's death one memorial web site condolence book had over 7,000 individual entries.[10] A memorial video In Memory of Anna on YouTube has been viewed more than 3,000,000 times as of June 2007.[3] and another In Loving Memory of Anna Svidersky more than 1,880,000 times;[11] Svidersky's MySpace page had over 2,500 messages from other MySpace users.[12]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Adams, Kelly (June 27, 2007). "Sullivan acquitted due to insanity". The Columbian. Retrieved 2007-07-12.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  2. ^ a b c Jonze, Tim (May 15, 2006). "Death on MySpace". The Guardian. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  3. ^ a b "In Memory of Anna", statistic. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
  4. ^ Adams, Kelly (April 21, 2006). "Promising life cut short for Vancouver teen". The Columbian. Retrieved 2006-06-24. 
  5. ^ a b Kelly Adams (April 28, 2006). "Family: Fallen teen was beautiful, funny, caring". The Columbian News (on  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Carinci, Justin (April 27, 2006). "Thousands flock to fundraiser for slain teen's family". The Columbian. Retrieved 2006-06-24. 
  7. ^ Web Staff (April 21, 2006). "McDonald's stabbing suspect is arraigned". KATU News (ABC). Retrieved 2006-06-24. 
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference crimelibrary was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ St. John, Warren (2006) "Rituals of grief go online" The New York Times, April 27, 2006. Accessed on July 12, 2006
  10. ^ "Memorial Site Condolences". Retrieved 2006-07-11. 
  11. ^ Accessed on July 12, 2006
  12. ^ Anna Svidersky MySpace page Retrieved on July 12, 2006. The spelling, typography and punctuation of quotes are shown as on the MySpace page.

External links[edit]

[[:Category:1988 births]] [[:Category:2006 deaths]] [[:Category:Internet personalities]] [[:Category:Murdered American children]] [[:Category:McDonald's people]] [[:Category:People from Vancouver, Washington]] [[:Category:Russian-Americans]]