Amy Carnevale was a fourteen year old girl. Those who knew her described her as sweet, kind, thoughtful, with an upbeat and positive attitude and the ability to see goodness in every person she encountered. Amy hoped to become a hairstylist when she grew up.
A pretty and friendly cheerleader at Beverly High, Amy fell hard and quick for sixteen year old jock, Jamie Fuller. Friends described their tumultuous relationship as passionate and intense, albeit unhealthy. It was not uncommon for Jamie to be seen roughly grabbing Amy’s arm, or blocking her path when she tried to leave.
Jamie Fuller was brimming with jealousy and anger at the thought of Amy not being “his” property. He regularly told friends (and Amy directly) that he would kill her someday, but nobody paid any mind or took the threats seriously. Shortly before the murder, Amy went to the beach with some friends. This enraged Jamie. According to court documents, he reportedly said, “I’m getting sick of this. I swear I’m going to kill her….This shit’s got to stop…She won’t be around to go out with anyone any more…I’m going to fucking kill her.”
On 8/23/91, Jamie called Amy. Knowing that Amy liked to style and cut hair, he baited her to meet with him under the guise of giving him a haircut. Amy eventually agreed, after Jamie kept pestering her to meet with him. Jamie told a few friends that he was going to go kill Amy, and invited them along. “You don’t have the balls to do it”, one of the boys said to Jamie. “You’ll see.”
The four teens (Jamie, Amy, and two of Jamie’s friends) walked from Jamie’s house to a nearby field. Jamie led Amy into the woods. He covered her mouth, told her he loved her, and stabbed her in the stomach. He then got behind her, and pushed the knife in deeper. Later, he said that he could feel the knife tip through her abdomen. She bit his hand and tried to run away. He grabbed her hair, and dragged her back. Holding onto her hair, he slashed her throat. She fell to the ground, repeating “I love you, Jamie”. Jamie said that the gurgling sound of Amy choking on her blood “pissed him off”, so he stomped her to death. Jamie then returned from the woods, alone and told his friends “It’s done.” He showed his friends the bloody knife, and pointed out how the tip of the knife had bent during the attack. Jamie, and his two friends then went to one of the boy’s houses. Jamie washed the blood off at the home, and joked that the red kool-aid they were drinking was “right for the occasion”. He told his two friends that they would be “next” if they told anybody. He enlisted their help in covering up his crime. Tying cinder blocks to Amy’s body and wrapping her in plastic, Jamie and his two friends dumped her body into Shoe Pond in Beverly, MA. 5 days later, one of Jamie’s friends led police to the pond where Amy’s body was left behind and Jamie Fuller was arrested for Amy’s murder. He is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
Amy Canavale’s death could have been avoided. Jamie Fuller had been arrested in 1990 twice for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and placed on probation. As per usual with abusers, this was not Jamie’s first relationship where he behaved violently to his girlfriend. In the mid 90’s, the TV network Lifetime produced a film called “No One Would Tell” about the murder. The title serves to remind the audience that many people knew about the tumultuous relationship and Jamie’s threats, but nobody tried to intervene.
Teenagers tend to romanticize unhealthy relationship patterns, and it’s not hard to see why: popular franchises with largely female audiences such as “Twilight” and “Fifty Shades of Grey” highlight these unhealthy patterns, and teenage girls (and young women) look to these fictional men as the “ideal” partner.
The most dangerous time period for an abused girl or woman is when she attempts to leave.
Look at any critical article about “Fifty Shades of Grey” and you will find women in the comments defending Christian Grey’s behavior. The “reason” men like Christian get so angry and so possessive is because they “love” her, and don’t want to lose her – but what these franchises fail to teach their impressionable audience is that controlling, and manipulative behavior is NOT love.
While physical abuse is typical of dating violence, a partner doesn’t have to hit you to be abusive. Emotional manipulation is also a common form of dating violence. Abusers tend to adhere to patterns, but there are always exceptions. Check out this article to learn the warning signs of being in an abusive relationship, as well as discover resources to help you (or somebody you know) leave a dangerous and potentially fatal situation.
Girls and young women between the ages of 16-24 experience intimate partner violence at nearly triple the national average.
If you are experiencing violence in your relationship, remember that you are not alone in this and that there are people and organizations that will advocate for you. Organizations like Live Your Dream exist to empower and improve the lives of women. We’ve got you.
If somebody you know is being abused, it can be difficult to approach the subject. organizations like Purple Purse have helpful information on what to say if somebody you know who is in an abusive relationship. Many times, abused girls or women may feel defensive or cornered when the topic is brought up, because they love their partner. The most dangerous time period for an abused girl or woman is when she attempts to leave. Some women are too afraid to leave, may think things will get better on their own, or in some cases, they may be so used to the poor treatment that it seems “normal” – especially if the woman was abused during childhood. It is important to remind them that love should never hurt, physically or emotionally.
Stories like Amy’s are not isolated incidents. Girls and young women between the ages of 16-24 experience intimate partner violence at nearly triple the national average. In 2016, 16 year old Emma Walker was fatally shot through her bedroom window by a jealous and controlling boyfriend. Emma’s relationship shared many similarities to Amy’s story. These stories repeat, and repeat. These girls and women are permanently silenced again, and again – all because they loved somebody who hurt them. We must always speak up, and speak out.
The voices of these girls and women can no longer do so for themselves: we must carry them with us, so that maybe one day, families will no longer have to bury their loved ones – because she loved the wrong man.
Help eliminate teen dating violence!
Ashley Hesse is a 20-something writer/musician and women’s rights activist. She is a former beauty/special FX makeup artist who put down the makeup brushes and raised her fist in solidarity to help fight the social injustices against women all over the world. When she’s not crusading for social justice and defeating bigotry in all its forms, she also enjoys feeding her soul with musical theatre, red lipstick and Ghirardelli brownies.