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Thread: Canada - Mariam Makhniashvili, 17, Toronto, 14 Sept 2009 - #8

  1. #76
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    In response to mauvelilac's post - I was wondering why the parents had the children come to Canada before they had finished their schooling. They were in safe hands in Georgia with loving family. Perhaps both children should have completed high school and then come to Canada for their higher learning.



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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Stone_Unturned View Post
    In response to mauvelilac's post - I was wondering why the parents had the children come to Canada before they had finished their schooling. They were in safe hands in Georgia with loving family. Perhaps both children should have completed high school and then come to Canada for their higher learning.



    WELCOME TO THE FORUM, MAUVELILAC!
    Because they missed them terribly? The children were supposed to have joined them in North America long before this, but there were immigration glitches. Lela says in the W5 programme that at one point in their separation she was ready to give up and go back to Georgia to be with her kids, but found it impractical. She also said that until she and VM left, she had never before been separated from the kids. It must have been excruciating for a mother to have such a long physical absence from her children, even with daily phone conversations. The whole idea was for a better life here for all of them, especially the kids.

    JMO
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  5. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Stone_Unturned View Post
    Quoted from dotr's post above:

    but after that others get noticed and new bonds are formed.


    In an ideal world, yes. But by the time kids reach Grade 11, the bonds are already formed, the cliques are in play, the decisions about 'who's cool and who's not' are in place. It's extremely difficult for someone new....who knows no one.....who cannot speak the latest "in" lingo....who perhaps doesn't wear the 'correct' clothing labels.....etc. to make friends.

    Mariam had a very difficult task in front of her. In my experience, the female cliques are the most cruel ones.



    -------------

    ETA: Just look at the video of Mariam coming home from the Dragon Boat Races. Is she mingling with other Grade 11 girls? No, she's with her younger brother. That speaks volumes to me. Were other Grade 11 girls even trying to speak with her, help her, show her the way? No, not at all.......
    (BBM)

    Can you please provide a link to that video? The only one I recall is of Mariam and George on their way to the races. Even so, I believe any videos taken were from around the entrance/exit to the station, by which time the group would likely have separated.

    Also, what Grade 11 girls? This group of volunteers was made up of new immigrants and sponsored by the YMCA. There may have been a few classmates of Mariam's in that bunch, but I had always assumed it consisted of a mixed gender/mixed school/mixed age group of newcomer students - ones who had probably never met before that day. I don't believe this was ever clarified - only that it was for new kids to the country and sponsored by the YMCA.

    JMO
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  7. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by antiquegirl View Post
    (BBM)

    Can you please provide a link to that video? The only one I recall is of Mariam and George on their way to the races. Even so, I believe any videos taken were from around the entrance/exit to the station, by which time the group would likely have separated.

    Also, what Grade 11 girls? This group of volunteers was made up of new immigrants and sponsored by the YMCA. There may have been a few classmates of Mariam's in that bunch, but I had always assumed it consisted of a mixed gender/mixed school/mixed age group of newcomer students - ones who had probably never met before that day. I don't believe this was ever clarified - only that it was for new kids to the country and sponsored by the YMCA.

    JMO
    OK, my huge mistake.

    1. I was incorrect when I said from the races - I suppose it was to the races.

    2. Forgive me for thinking it was a school trip - again, my mistake.

    3. I didn't know about the YMCA thing - again, my mistake.

    Now after all of these mistakes of mine - it's almost worse if the boat races was a trip organised in order to help welcome newcomers. Shouldn't there have been more Canadian volunteers to assist the newcomers, talk to them, make them feel welcome and not leave them alone with only family members to speak with - no doubt, in their own native tongue.

    Gee, I hope I soon stop making all these errors!!

    (I'm not a reporter who has been in touch with Mariam's family/mother. I'm a person who works with young offenders. My knowledge of this case is - obviously - not terrifically good!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by antiquegirl View Post
    Because they missed them terribly? The children were supposed to have joined them in North America long before this, but there were immigration glitches. Lela says in the W5 programme that at one point in their separation she was ready to give up and go back to Georgia to be with her kids, but found it impractical. She also said that until she and VM left, she had never before been separated from the kids. It must have been excruciating for a mother to have such a long physical absence from her children, even with daily phone conversations. The whole idea was for a better life here for all of them, especially the kids.

    JMO
    Yes, I did watch the W5 programme and I heard Lela say that. Perhaps parents would be wise to put the kids first and put aside the parents' desire to have the children be with them.

    I work extensively with troubled/disturbed kids (age 7 - 17) and I see problems all the time. Problems which the children often don't articulate to the parents.

    I must ask myself if Mariam truly, really, honestly wanted to leave her homeland and come to Canada. Or, did she say she was happy in order to avoid displeasing her parents?
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    I didn't watch W5 and don't know if I'll have time to watch in the next few days so not sure if this was addressed or not but I've always been curious as to why they chose Los Angeles. Was Mariam's dad offered a job there? Also, when did they decide to come to Canada? Was it only after he was acquitted of lewd conduct charges? If he didn't have a troubled past, was the plan to stay in LA? http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2...67511-sun.html

    What kind of family life did they have in Georgia? Did Lela have a job? My understanding is the kids had computers (IIRC Mariam communicated with her friends back home via internet) so it's not like they were deprived?

    Why did Mariam's dad keep referring to their home country as "third" world?

    It's not on this list.

    http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world.htm
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~n/t~ View Post
    I didn't watch W5 and don't know if I'll have time to watch in the next few days so not sure if this was addressed or not but I've always been curious as to why they chose Los Angeles. Was Mariam's dad offered a job there? Also, when did they decide to come to Canada? Was it only after he was acquitted of lewd conduct charges? If he didn't have a troubled past, was the plan to stay in LA? http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2...67511-sun.html

    What kind of family life did they have in Georgia? Did Lela have a job? My understanding is the kids had computers (IIRC Mariam communicated with her friends back home via internet) so it's not like they were deprived?

    Why did Mariam's dad keep referring to their home country as "third" world?

    It's not on this list.

    http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world.htm
    I'll only attempt to answer the questions I sort of know the answers to from the W5 show:

    1. Lela had a job as a broadcaster for a children's show. She lost that job.

    2. The family had one computer which they all shared.

    3. In Georgia, Mariam had a loving grandmother and a loving aunt.

    4. They chose California because VM was given/offered a job there.

    That's about all I can speak to - hopefully, correctly!!
    Last edited by No_Stone_Unturned; 03-19-2012 at 01:58 PM. Reason: typo!
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Stone_Unturned View Post
    I'll only attempt to answer the questions I sort of know the answers to from the W5 show:

    1. Lela had a job as a broadcaster for a children's show. She lost that job.

    2. The family had one computer which they all shared.

    3. In Georgia Mariam had a loving gramdmother and a loving aunt.

    4. They chose California because VM was given/offered a job there.

    That's about all I can speak to - hopefully, correctly!!

    Thank you. What happened to dad's job in California? I guess I'm just wondering how the trip to Canada was decided and why they chose to have the children join them only after 5 years (3 months in Canada). Did they know anyone here specifically in Toronto?

    IDK but there are pieces of this puzzle missing. BTW, I still don't believe it was suicide and perhaps my reasons at trying to understand what happened to suddenly have a beautiful young lady go from being excited about her new life to the devastating decision to jump off a bridge?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~n/t~ View Post
    Thank you. What happened to dad's job in California? I guess I'm just wondering how the trip to Canada was decided and why they chose to have the children join them only after 5 years (3 months in Canada). Did they know anyone here specifically in Toronto?

    IDK but there are pieces of this puzzle missing. BTW, I still don't believe it was suicide and perhaps my reasons at trying to understand what happened to suddenly have a beautiful young lady go from being excited about her new life to the devastating decision to jump off a bridge?
    1. It seems as though something happened in CA with VM. (A little episode of doing 'something of a sexual nature' and getting arrested.) I don't remember what happened to his job in CA. And I don't know what happened regarding his arrest there for the 'sexual thing'.

    2. Then, the couple applied to come to Canada 'because Canada is welcoming to non-residents, etc.' on a skilled workers visa.

    3. I could very easily be wrong, but I think Lela said in the W5 programme that they knew no one in Toronto/Canada.

    Perhaps others who know this case much better than I do will be able to respond to your questions.
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  19. #85
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    Sorry if already posted, large photo slides.

    http://photogallery.thestar.com/1143723

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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Stone_Unturned View Post
    OK, my huge mistake.

    1. I was incorrect when I said from the races - I suppose it was to the races.

    2. Forgive me for thinking it was a school trip - again, my mistake.

    3. I didn't know about the YMCA thing - again, my mistake.

    Now after all of these mistakes of mine - it's almost worse if the boat races was a trip organised in order to help welcome newcomers. Shouldn't there have been more Canadian volunteers to assist the newcomers, talk to them, make them feel welcome and not leave them alone with only family members to speak with - no doubt, in their own native tongue.

    Gee, I hope I soon stop making all these errors!!

    (I'm not a reporter who has been in touch with Mariam's family/mother. I'm a person who works with young offenders. My knowledge of this case is - obviously - not terrifically good!)
    Don't worry about "mistakes". It's fine.

    We don't really know how many, but there was at least one YMCA worker who met the kids at Union Station and accompanied them back to it. We were also told that they were supervised at Marilyn Bell Park. Not sure if there was any socializing or much conversation; their role was to assist with the races.

    According to Lela, Mariam arrived back home all flushed and happy, eager to discuss the experience. Had she not gone missing the next day, perhaps the Y had more plans for these kids to help them assimilate and Mariam sadly missed out on future events.

    Another question is how the siblings got into this programme in the first place. It's possible that it was through the school, but it could have been something else.
    Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. - William E. Gladstone

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  23. #87
    The TTC bus route.

    It was posted earlier that there is no bus going up Yonge Street, only the subway. This is not correct. There are actually several buses going up Yonge all the way to Steeles Ave.

    http://www3.ttc.ca/Routes/97/Northbound.jsp

    Not that M had the cash or a ttc token...
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    I did some research and I found what VM was arrested for in California:

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2...67511-sun.html

    Court documents obtained by the Sun from the California Superior Court indicate Vakhtang Makhniashvili was, on Dec. 19, 2008, charged criminally in an incident within the vicinity of a daycare centre.

    The documents alleged on Nov. 21, 2008, in Los Angeles he did "willfully and unlawfully, in the presence of a child ... induldge in a degrading, lewd, immoral and vicious habit and practice and be habitually drunk."

    They also claim the defendant "did willfully and unlawfully solicit a person and persons to engage in and did engage in lewd and dissolute conduct in a public place and in a place open to the public and exposed to a public view."

    A jury acquitted him of two charges stemming from the incident and a third count was dropped.

    "I was shaving," the 49-year-old unemployed professor of philosophy said in an interview last night.

    "I know it was difficult to understand in that country but it is something from the third world to do that. I was a victim of a misconception."



    I'm afraid that I do not understand "the third world" part!!
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  27. #89
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    Quoted from antiquegirl:

    Another question is how the siblings got into this programme in the first place. It's possible that it was through the school, but it could have been something else.


    Were they taking extra ESL classes (English As A Second Language) perhaps? I know that TDSB often offers these courses on Saturday mornings.

    Or, perhaps ESL through the Y??

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  29. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~n/t~ View Post
    Thank you. What happened to dad's job in California? I guess I'm just wondering how the trip to Canada was decided and why they chose to have the children join them only after 5 years (3 months in Canada). Did they know anyone here specifically in Toronto?

    IDK but there are pieces of this puzzle missing. BTW, I still don't believe it was suicide and perhaps my reasons at trying to understand what happened to suddenly have a beautiful young lady go from being excited about her new life to the devastating decision to jump off a bridge?
    A lot of your questions are answered in early threads here and in the W5 programme about Mariam. I will try to fill in some gaps.

    VM's position in California was that of a visiting scholar at a college. To the best of my knowledge, he was not working for that period, but LT was - as a live-in caregiver for an elderly woman. She was paid well and they sent money back to Georgia for the relatives caring for their children. They scrimped and saved every other penny.

    They originally wanted to live in the States, but were having trouble obtaining green cards. They then applied as landed immigrants to Canada. When they thought they were accepted, both resigned their jobs and VM gave up his accommodations. But then there was a snag with immigration. Something about them now applying from the U.S. instead of Georgia – this caused a 9 month delay and left them poorer and VM without a place to live. So – for a few days only – he was living in his car. He had tried living in a single room in a rooming house (or home?) and it was terrible. I was told that the car was actually better than where he had lived before.

    It was during this time that VM was looking for another job that the incident happened. He was going to a job interview and arrived several hours early in the morning when it was still dark. He sat in his car and got ready – including shaving. He had food in his car, including a jar of mayonnaise. (This is what was suspected to be semen.)

    He was parked on a corner and not directly in front of the “day care centre”. This was not a formal day care; there was no sign out front. It was merely a black couple in a bad neighbourhood that took in a few kids a day. They spotted this white man parked for two hours in his car and became suspicious. The woman told VM to leave, but he refused, so they called the police. (VM had no idea that it was a so-called day care centre.) The jar of mayo was sent to the police lab and was found to be just that. He was then acquitted of the charges.

    I believe that as soon as he was acquitted, he was then legally able to leave the U.S. and they came to Canada very quickly after that. The children were supposed to have joined them much sooner, but again there were glitches with the immigration process - this time back in Georgia, I think.

    HTH

    As for poor, lovely Mariam: IMO suicide is a tragic, but viable option. And I was one who insisted for years that it couldn't have been. But hindsight can be 20/20 and I'm starting to see signs that this might have been the case. A quiet, studious, introverted girl could easily hide depression - especially from family who weren't that close to her physically for 5 years. When I heard Lela describe Mariam's demeanor upon returning from the boat races as "excited, talking fast, happy", manic depression occurred to me. Could the previous evening have shown a manic phase, while the next day she plummeted into a depressed one? I'm hoping we'll get more conclusive results from LE, but not really expecting it. This should be a private family matter now, but who knows how far the media will delve if more info is discovered.

    JMO

    R.I.P. MARIKA
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  31. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Stone_Unturned View Post
    Quoted from antiquegirl:

    Another question is how the siblings got into this programme in the first place. It's possible that it was through the school, but it could have been something else.


    Were they taking extra ESL classes (English As A Second Language) perhaps? I know that TDSB often offers these courses on Saturday mornings.

    Or, perhaps ESL through the Y??

    Yes, they were, but they had only been to school here for four days when Mariam disappeared. I think it was during school hours, though, but too busy to check now. I agree that it could have been arranged through that too, if it was separate from the school itself. But I don't remember any courses outside of their regular weekday ones.
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  33. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_Stone_Unturned View Post
    I did some research and I found what VM was arrested for in California:

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2...67511-sun.html

    Court documents obtained by the Sun from the California Superior Court indicate Vakhtang Makhniashvili was, on Dec. 19, 2008, charged criminally in an incident within the vicinity of a daycare centre.

    The documents alleged on Nov. 21, 2008, in Los Angeles he did "willfully and unlawfully, in the presence of a child ... induldge in a degrading, lewd, immoral and vicious habit and practice and be habitually drunk."

    They also claim the defendant "did willfully and unlawfully solicit a person and persons to engage in and did engage in lewd and dissolute conduct in a public place and in a place open to the public and exposed to a public view."

    A jury acquitted him of two charges stemming from the incident and a third count was dropped.

    "I was shaving," the 49-year-old unemployed professor of philosophy said in an interview last night.

    "I know it was difficult to understand in that country but it is something from the third world to do that. I was a victim of a misconception."



    I'm afraid that I do not understand "the third world" part!!
    (Blue colour highlighted by me)

    The first set of charges were explained here at WS back in the early days. They are blanket charges from the California Penal Code that can't be applied separately. They do not mean that he was charged with everything mentioned in them - only that it's one charge that encompasses others.

    The mistake made in the media is that used the word "and" instead of "or" when quoting the code. The wording may have changed somewhat, too. It should have read:

    "Any person who in the presence of any child indulges in any degrading, lewd, immoral or vicious habits or practices, or who is habitually drunk in the presence of any child in his care, custody or control, is guilty of a misdemeanor."

    Scroll down to Penal Code #273g here:

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...ile=270-273.75

    I believe it was the second charge in blue above that got dismissed. I explained the circumstances in my previous post. The bottom line is that he was acquitted and IMO failed to be relevant then and even more so now.

    JMO
    Last edited by antiquegirl; 03-19-2012 at 05:41 PM.
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  35. #93
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    And he was acquitted of the 2 main charges -- that is, found to be innocent in the eyes of the law. The third was dropped because the other two charges were dismissed. I know his violent actions post-Mariam's disappearance make him seem like a violent man, but you have to understand his actions in relation to PTSD, as well as the psychopathological delusions that are the *effect* of trauma. His illness doesn't excuse his actions, but are the context for our understanding. He was a man who, by ALL accounts of people close to the family, loved his children very much. His daughter's disappearance broke him. We might all react differently to such an indescribable horror -- to not know what happened to your child. But we can't know. I have never suspected a single family member in Mariam's disappearance (and remember that the family is, as a general rule, often the FIRST community of suspicion for LE). That said, I'm not sure I'm convinced Mariam chose her death. Whether it could be accident or (to my mind, more likely) foul play, perhaps time will tell. But I think her disappearance and death fit a much larger pattern of missing/murdered girls in the GTA.

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  37. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by antiquegirl View Post
    Don't worry about "mistakes". It's fine.

    We don't really know how many, but there was at least one YMCA worker who met the kids at Union Station and accompanied them back to it. We were also told that they were supervised at Marilyn Bell Park. Not sure if there was any socializing or much conversation; their role was to assist with the races.

    According to Lela, Mariam arrived back home all flushed and happy, eager to discuss the experience. Had she not gone missing the next day, perhaps the Y had more plans for these kids to help them assimilate and Mariam sadly missed out on future events.

    Another question is how the siblings got into this programme in the first place. It's possible that it was through the school, but it could have been something else
    I do not have reference, but I am almost 100 percent sure it was their parents who contacted YMCA and made sure they participate in newcomers programme.


    http://sunsetchaser07.blogspot.com/

    Culture also affects communication by influencing the recipients' assumptions. Our minds try to twist incoming information to make it fit in our worldview. Since different cultures have very different worldviews, cross-cultural communication is especially likely to change meaning between sender and receiver, as the sender may have a very different worldview from the receiver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SideKick View Post
    The TTC bus route.

    It was posted earlier that there is no bus going up Yonge Street, only the subway. This is not correct. There are actually several buses going up Yonge all the way to Steeles Ave.

    http://www3.ttc.ca/Routes/97/Northbound.jsp

    Not that M had the cash or a ttc token...

    This is correct. It was me who posted that there is no bus service going north of Eglinton on Yonge. I said it only because in all my life and walking or driving on Yonge north of Eglinton I never saw a bus (it must be very rare occurrence, since I frequent the area quite often...). It must be very rare bus Only couple of days ago, and after posting on this topic, I noticed there is a bus stop on Yonge north of Eglinton!


    http://sunsetchaser07.blogspot.com/

    Culture also affects communication by influencing the recipients' assumptions. Our minds try to twist incoming information to make it fit in our worldview. Since different cultures have very different worldviews, cross-cultural communication is especially likely to change meaning between sender and receiver, as the sender may have a very different worldview from the receiver.

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  41. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by outcast View Post
    I do not have reference, but I am almost 100 percent sure it was their parents who contacted YMCA and made sure they participate in newcomers programme.
    Thank you outcast. All this time I had been thinking it was part of the 40 hours voluntary work students are required to complete in order to graduate. Don't know where I got this idea.
    I also thought it was through the school that Mariam and George got enrolled in this program, as well as all the other ESL students at Forest Hill Collegiate.

    MOO
    My posts are merely my humble opinion. Unless you are quoting within Websleuths Forums, you do not have my permission to copy nor use any post made by me for anything.
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  43. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2soccermom View Post
    And he was acquitted of the 2 main charges -- that is, found to be innocent in the eyes of the law. The third was dropped because the other two charges were dismissed. I know his violent actions post-Mariam's disappearance make him seem like a violent man, but you have to understand his actions in relation to PTSD, as well as the psychopathological delusions that are the *effect* of trauma. His illness doesn't excuse his actions, but are the context for our understanding. He was a man who, by ALL accounts of people close to the family, loved his children very much. His daughter's disappearance broke him. We might all react differently to such an indescribable horror -- to not know what happened to your child. But we can't know. I have never suspected a single family member in Mariam's disappearance (and remember that the family is, as a general rule, often the FIRST community of suspicion for LE). That said, I'm not sure I'm convinced Mariam chose her death. Whether it could be accident or (to my mind, more likely) foul play, perhaps time will tell. But I think her disappearance and death fit a much larger pattern of missing/murdered girls in the GTA.
    ITA. How it feels to have your child missing in a foreign land that you wanted to call your home....


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    Culture also affects communication by influencing the recipients' assumptions. Our minds try to twist incoming information to make it fit in our worldview. Since different cultures have very different worldviews, cross-cultural communication is especially likely to change meaning between sender and receiver, as the sender may have a very different worldview from the receiver.

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  45. #98
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    I've followed her disappearance from the 1st day, but usually don't have anything constructive to add. But this is big news that she had a positive experience the day before she went missing.

    I just don't get the "suicide" angle. This overpass is too far away from school and too busy of a freeway for someone not to have noticed her walking along.

    Quote Originally Posted by antiquegirl View Post
    Don't worry about "mistakes". It's fine.

    We don't really know how many, but there was at least one YMCA worker who met the kids at Union Station and accompanied them back to it. We were also told that they were supervised at Marilyn Bell Park. Not sure if there was any socializing or much conversation; their role was to assist with the races.

    According to Lela, Mariam arrived back home all flushed and happy, eager to discuss the experience. Had she not gone missing the next day, perhaps the Y had more plans for these kids to help them assimilate and Mariam sadly missed out on future events.

    Another question is how the siblings got into this programme in the first place. It's possible that it was through the school, but it could have been something else.

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  47. #99
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    March 9 2012
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03...olice-confirm/
    "The 18-year-old remembers Mariam and her brother George on their first day of class in September 2009. They were in a class amongst 15-20 new immigrant students learning English as a second language. They had all introduced themselves and told the class what they had done that morning, including what they ate for breakfast. Mariam seemed shy, but it was the first day of school and a lot of teens seemed to act in a similar way".

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    My posts are merely my humble opinion. Unless you are quoting within Websleuths Forums, you do not have my permission to copy nor use any post made by me for anything.
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