25 Teenagers Who Died Before They Lived

Think you had a bad year? Didn't get what you wanted for Christmas? Haven't got a boyfriend? Haven't got the latest phone/iPod/trainers?

Twenty-five teenagers in London won't have those problems in the new year, because in 2007 they lost their lives after being shot or stabbed to death - by their peers.

Look at the faces, imagine the lost potential, try to picture their energy and vitality in life, and their mother's faces when the police came knocking with the news. They aren't headlines.

The scale of loss is horrific and almost incomprehensible. Here are the twenty-five teenagers who died before they lived.

From left to right:

Stephen Boachie, 17, stabbed on 1 January.

Dean Lahlou, 18, stabbed on 9 January.

Jevon Henry, 18, stabbed on 24 January.

James Smartt-Ford, 16, shot on 3 February.

Michael Dosunmu, 15, shot on 6 February.

Billy Cox, 15, shot on 14 February.

Kodjo Yenga, 16, stabbed on 14 March.

Adam Regis, 15, stabbed on 17 March.

Paul Erhahon, 14, stabbed on 6 April.

Dwaine Douglas, 18, stabbed on 18 May.

Danielle Johnson, 17, stabbed on 28 May.

Sian Simpson, 18, stabbed on 19 June.

Ben Hitchcock, 16, stabbed on 23 June.

Annaka Keniesha Pinto, 17, shot on 23 June.

Abu Shahin, 18, stabbed on 26 June.

Martin Dinnegan, 14, stabbed on 26 June.

Abukar Mahamud, 16, shot on 26 July.

Nathan Foster, 18, shot on 3 August.

Mohammed Ahmed, 17, stabbed on 30 August.

Edvin Johnson, 19, stabbed on 16 September.

Rizwan Darbar, 17, stabbed on 7 October.

Philip Poru, 18, shot on 14 October.

Etem Celebi, 17, shot on 14 November.

Biendi Litambola, 17, assaulted on 17 November.

David Nowak, 16, stabbed on 15 December.

B2K: Raz-B Retracts Apology

Ricardo Thornton, Raz-B's brother, has spoken out in an interview with The New Urban blog, saying: "I just got off the phone with DeMario (Raz B), and the apology tape is not real! Chris had people force Raz to read a script and coerced him into taking money. I talked to DeMario and the money will be returned. We want this done right. We're putting this message out there for all of the innocent kids who get abused and are then forced to be silent."

Sure enough, the apology video has disappeared from youtube.

Thornton goes on to allege that Chris Stokes and Marques Houston are lovers, and that Stokes promised to take care of young artists if they took part in gay sex acts with one another.

Read the full interview here.


Doctor Who and EastEnders were the winners in this year's Christmas ratings wars, with the long-running series managing 12.2 million and 13.9 million viewers each.
For Doctor Who it was the series' highest ratings since 1979, and the largest audience since its revival in 2005, doubtless helped by legions of homosexuals tuning in to see Kylie 'acting' in a spoof of The Poseidon Adventure. The sand-grubber, bent on grabbing every last pink pound for her pension (which isn't far off) didn't detract too much from the festive edition of Who, and even managed to keep that ghastly Australian accent in check. What casual viewers didn't realise, however, was that it was all a con: the plot was a rip-off of a 1970s disaster movie, and the 'sailing ships in space' idea had already been done in the 1983 serial Enlightenment, whilst the stylised robot servants were a direct lift from the 1977 story The Robots of Death. It's been done before, and it's been done better.
In EastEnders the culmination of a year-long storyline, Max's affair with daughter-in-law Stacey, paid handsome dividends, and invoked memories of Christmas past - the series has a tradition of nightmare Christmas misery stretching back to Dirty Den serving divorce papers on Angie in 1986.
The Christmas top 10 was:
1. EastEnders (8pm, BBC One): 13.9 million
2. Doctor Who (6.50pm, BBCOne): 12.2 million, peak 13.8 million
3. EastEnders (6.20pm, BBC One): 11.6 million, peak 11.8 million
4. BBC News (6.05pm, BBC One): 10.4 million, peak 10.1 million
5. To The Manor Born (9.30pm, BBC One): 9.8 million, peak 10.1 million
6. Shrek 2 (4.40pm, BBC One): 9.1 million, peak 10.1 million
7. Coronation Street (8.30pm, ITV1): 8.9 million, peak 9.6 million
8. Strictly Come Dancing (8.30pm, BBC One): 8.3 million, peak 9.9 million
9. The Queen's Speech (3pm, BBC One & ITV1): 7.5 million
10. Finding Nemo (3.10pm, BBC One): 7.1 million, peak 8.3 million

B2K: Sex, Lies, Videotape

The depressing, ghastly saga that is the B2K sex scandal has taken a new twist. Raz-B has appeared in another clip, which appeared on Boxing Day, in which he says "some tapes that were leaked without my authority, and I just wanna say that those allegations are not true with Chris Stokes and Marques Houston and I apologise for any hurt this may cause."

Now, I'm no expert in body language or the rest of it, but Raz-B's performance here is about as convincing and natural as Michael Jackson's face. Why is the amatuer footage recorded out in a suburban street? Why is it suddenly cut short? And why does Raz-B look like somebody (a former manager, for example) has a gun to his head?

Whilst Raz-B is backing down from the allegations, his brother certainly isn't, vowing to go on Oprah or anyone else that will have him. Omarion has also weighed in, saying: "I want to be on the record as saying that 'Raz B' Thorton and Ricardo Thorton are lying regarding Chris Stokes. Chris is a father figure to myself, and many others in the industry. He's guided us, helped raised us and is nothing more than an inspiration and someone I respect to and look up to. I have spent countless hours, days, weeks and months with the man since the age of 5 and have never once seen him behave inappropriately. He's married to my aunt and I know this man very well. I stand behind him with no question whatsoever. I have grown up around Chris and this is crazy to me. These people have damaged me, and my reputation and I won't stand silent and will do all within my means to speak the truth about this matter."

Hmm - I wonder how many PR people it took to write that statement...?

Follow the story in more detail at the jolly good blog WhatsTheT.


"I didn't like it, my ass hurt," Raz-B says in an explosive Christmas Eve video.

The footage, from the forthcoming reality series Life After B2K, shows the former member of B2K discussing sex acts that allegedly took place between members of B2K and their former manager Chris Stokes, and suggests that the boys were encouraged to have sex with each other, and with various industry people. Marques Houston is also implicated.

Raz-B - real name De'Mario Monte Thornton - also says, somewhat bizarrely, "Me going on Noah's Arc was an expression of what I've been through."

The news that sex is the favourite currency in show biz, and that managers and agents use their positions to get what they want from hungry young artists, isn't a big revelation. But what is shocking is the very public disclosure of a gay sex scandal involving some of the urban music scene's biggest names.

No doubt we'll be hearing a lot more about this...

Age Ain't Nothing But a Number?

Well well well, maybe heterosexuals aren't all hypocrites, after all: digital spy reports that black activists are planning to protest at a concert being given by dirty old man R. Kelly.

The World's Greatest is currently under investigation for 14 child pornography charges. Says activist Jasmyne Cannick: "It's a challenge to get the black community to even discuss it. It's like pulling teeth to get people to talk about this. They're acting like he doesn't have 14 counts of child pornography against him... We're all acting like we don't have daughters and nieces and little sisters."
Try to imagine the furore and publicity had Kelly's alleged victims been male. And you can bet the likes of Ludacris, The Neptunes, Kanye West, Ja Rule, Snoop Dogg, and T.I. wouldn't allow their names to be mentioned in the same breath as Kelly's, let alone collaborate with him (musically, that is...)
It's no secret that Robert Sylvester Kelly seems to practice the belief that Age Ain't Nothing But A Number and that Down Low (Nobody Has To Know). Allegations of sexual activity with underage girls stretch back to 1991, and in 1995 Kelly married 15 year old singer Aaliyah. A video was leaked to the press in 2002 that allegedly shows Kelly having sex with a 14 year old girl.
Last month Regina Daniels, Kelly's publicist, announced that she had resigned her position. "I have always prided myself on professionalism, respect and loyalty. I ended my relationship with Kelly because there are some lines you just don't cross."

Trains Bombed By Terrorists Will Be Back

One of the Tube trains in which an Islamic extremist detonated a bomb on 7th July 2005 is being refurbished and returned to service, despite the fact that six people died on the Hammersmith & City line train. A London Underground spokesman said: "None of the Tube carriages in which the bombs exploded will be used again in passenger service. They have been scrapped and disposed of securely. Other carriages and parts will be brought back into use."

An industry source said: "In an ideal world this train would also have been scrapped but they don't make them like this any more and we desperately need the stock back. We cancel on average six trains a day on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines and need every train possible."

So, operational requirements take precedence over respect for the dead, and not surprisingly, 7/7 survivors aren’t impressed. One of them, Beverli Rhodes, says: “I would like to see a memorial plaque in each carriage to prevent the rumour mill from churning out an urban legend for future generations. Future blogs will ask did you travel in the doomed carriages from the 7/7 bombings? Would you even know? The next thing will be Channel 4 doing a ghost hunt on the carriages to "see" the ghosts of the dead.”

Is it enough to simply amputate the aberrant carriage, or should the whole train be destroyed? Would you be happy knowing you might, possibly, be on one of the bombed trains, and never know it?

The Down Low Is Coming Out

Still in mourning over the premature end (apart from the upcoming movie) of Noah's Arc? Maybe The DL Chronicles will fill the hole (nudge nudge, wink wink). I haven't seen it myself, but the eye candy on the cover of the soon-to-be-released first season looks promising. If I was a proper reviewer maybe Genius Entertainment would send me a review copy in advance of its February street date, so that I could write nice things. But I'm not so they won't and I can't.

If anyone reading this has something to say about The DL Chronicles why not write in and tell me.

Sometimes Porn Stars Say Bad Things

Oh dear.

I don't think anyone has ever suggested that people employed in the sex industry should be role models (although I don't see why - as a career, it has more merit than being, say, an ambulance-chasing lawyer, a PR prick or an advertising a**hole). But making racist slurs in a public place probably isn't the best career move.

Enter porn star Tré Xavier, who's made it his mission in life to expose the rampant racism in the gay porn industry. In the other corner we have Pierre Fitch, who may or may not have a brain, although given his exchange with Xavier at NYC club Splash earlier this month it seems unlikely.

"I not into those type of guys, I like my white men, their skin feels better", Fitch allegedly said, and, "No matter how drunk I am, I wouldn't do it."

Well, that's not very nice, is it? You can take the boy out of the trailer, but you can't take the trash out of the boy...

Where In The World

Cor blimey geezer mate! I love a good map, me, especially a not-real one. Here's a not-real one that replaces stations on the familiar London Underground map with places in the world. It comes from the not-very-exciting-sounding book Transit Maps Of The World, which never-the-less for this geek sounds engrossing. You see, it's all about "graphic design of worldwide subway, metro, underground and U-Bahn system maps and diagrams" (says the Going Underground blog, which also has details of a competition in which you, your very self, can win a poster of the not-real map).
For better or worse, my home station on the map has been replaced by Lisbon, and I now work in Izmir (it's in Turkey - and yes, I did have to look it up). Apparently it's liberal there, so that's all right.
If you're very bored, or can't find any decent porn, have a look at previous not-real maps I've attempted to bring to your attention, like this here Map Of Humanity, or the Web Trend map.
It's all good clean fun, and better than a kick in the teeth, what!

If She Should Have Known Better, Then So Should We

Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher jailed in Sudan for naming a teddy bear Muhammed, was released yesterday, after Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir pardoned her following talks with two British Muslim peers. In a statement, Gibbons had this to say: "I have great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone and I am sorry if I caused any distress. I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends but I am very sorry that I will be unable to return to Sudan and work in Unity High School as the teacher of 2X." Throughout this insane episode, I've been disturbed by the opinion, held by many, that Gibbons somehow brought the whole thing on herself. That as a Westerner in an Islamic country she should have known better. Or that we're all at fault for not being more understanding of Islam. It's precisely that kind of thinking that allowed September 11th and 7/7 to happen: turning a blind eye to Islamic extremists and letting them get on with it; allowing some warped sense of Western guilt to eclipse the fact that backward, medieval societies like Sudan oppress women and gays, and are the antithesis of a liberal, tolerant society. The war on terror supposedly targets those who harbour terrorists. But Britain, the US and others play a big role in fostering the threat of Islam. We have to stop pandering to its extremes, apologising for the hate it nurtures and the oppression it gives rise to. It's cold comfort that Gillian Gibbons has been released - she's just one woman. Who's going to help the thousands of black African Darfuris, the murders of whom the bearded Arabs of Sudan have orchestrated...?

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