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Remember Chanel, Remember Them All February 29, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, Dancing Bear, je me souviens, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ever since I posted a list of all of the New Orleans dead of 2007, not a day goes by that this site is not visited by people searching for their loved ones on the internet. Yesterday, someone searched the internet for “chanell sanchell new orleans”.

Today, we’re going to remember Chanel. I didn’t know this person. That doesn’t matter. If we only choose to remember the people we knew, or the people like us, then remembrance is an act of selfishness. If we only worry about people who look like us or move in our circles and places, then it will never end.

It doesn’t matter that I did not know her or her family. It only matters that she has joined The Ghosts. To be among the ghosts is not to be denied the heaven of one’s dreams. It is to be in an honored host, as honored as those who stand at the foot of the throne if you tend to that version. It is to be remembered, to be a part of the city forever.

Here is Chanel’s story from Nola.com. From the news reports, she sounds like a good kid who ran with the wrong crowd. Perhaps it was the only crowd she knew, was full of the faces she knew from the time she first toddled down the steps of a building in St. Bernard on her own two feet, a crowd that perhaps included her first best girlfriend, the first boy she kissed. How easy it would be for someone like Chanel to fall in with that crowd, the people she grew up with good and bad, and to suddenly find herself on the wrong side of an argument with one of the bad in that crowd, one of the worst; an argument that ended with a gun shot through the heart.

Here is a blog post from a cousin. I think The Book and the comments on his blog say more than I can. Or read the comments on this post from last October at m.d. filter.

Many of those on the lists I and m.d. filter have published are otherwise invisible on the internet. There is only the list, perhaps a mention on this blog or m.d. filter. For most, there is a brief paragraph in the Times-Picayune. “The coroner has identified… Detective so-and-so is investigating. Call Crimestoppers…”. That is all; nothing more.

If you are one of those who stumbles onto this blog looking for someone you knew, please take a moment to leave some memorial in the comments. I know you are out there, looking for something about this person. You can leave your messages anonymously. Or you can email me and I will post it as a comment. Everyone person on that list, even if they had gone down that dark path and died with a handgun in their waste band and an empty look in their eyes, all of them were once as Chanel once was, as my own children once were: as innocent as a lamb in the lap of Jesus. Someone, somewhere who uses the internet remembers them not as a name on a list but as a person. (I know because you come looking for them.) Tell us something about that person. Tell us what you perhaps said or wish you had said when the minister at the funeral asked if anyone wanted to speak.

Some of us chose to remember, like the bone men. I want the dead and the living to know that we remember, that in this city there are many who remember. We will never forget one of you.

Update: I also just found this blog, which mostly captures police reports about violent crime in NOLA.

Update 5-16-08: Corrected spelling of Chanel’s name (except in the Google reference, because that’s how they find this page), per her cousin who published The Book blog.


1. Silence is Violence Remembers « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans - February 29, 2008

[…] isn’t visited by someone searching for the name of a person on the list below. As I suggested here in a more recent post, if you knew one of these people I encourage you to take a minute and leave a […]


2. The Hard Questions « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans - May 8, 2008

[…] that are marked private. The Book wrote a post about his cousin Chanell Shanell which prompted a post of my own, but most of those who die vanish into obscurity, forgotten by all but those who knew them […]


3. Book - May 9, 2008

Thanks man, Last name “Sanchell” ..

You know, I was just talking to my dad about this.

There was recently a load of Shootings in the past two weeks. Also Many Murderers Caught and Released.

. i know they could find the person that Killed Chanel, and if not. They’ll eventually end up dead. Its like a cycle.

for example .. 5 of the 6 people killed that first Jazz fest weekend All Knew Each other. Maybe They all were the target of the same gunman. but we wouldnt know that ..All we know is that they’re all dead.

and Thanks y’all!


4. Remembering No. 37 « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans - July 29, 2008

[…] takenmore than a passing interest in the forgotten victims of the city’s murder epidemic, I applaud the TP for investing the […]


5. HumidCity » Blog Archive » Getting to the end game - November 21, 2008

[…] No, I’m not that paranoid. Not yet. Paranoia, Thomas Pynchon once said is ” is nothing less than the onset, the leading edge, of the discovery that everything is connected.” Everything, everyone is connected. That which you do until the least of these. Everyone one of those young people, black and white, they were all once like my own children. […]


6. Remember 2008 « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans - January 8, 2009

[…] another death), or as I look at the endless parade of mugshots by which many are memorialized, what I wrote about Chanel bares repeating: Everyone person on that [2007] list, even if they had gone down that dark path and […]


7. Remembering Carmen « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans - October 2, 2009

[…] Internet searches that bring them in. I wonder why I plucked the story of another young girl named Chanel Sanchell. The local newspaper story doesn’t tell us much about Chanel either, what lead her out of her […]


8. An Apology of Sorts - October 3, 2009

[…] Internet searches that bring them in. I wonder why I plucked the story of another young girl named Chanel Sanchell. The local newspaper story doesn’t tell us much about Chanel either, what lead her out of her […]


9. Silence is Violence 2010 « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans - January 11, 2011

[…] I wrote in a piece about one victim still about sums up the reason for this exercise best: Everyone person on that list, even if they […]


10. Kat - February 2, 2014

David Crater was a young man with a future when I knew him. He was gregarious, vibrant, funny and fun. I lived with and had a daughter with his oldest brother. She was a toddler then – she’s 30 years old now. Back then David loved music. He was very good looking and had lots of girlfriends. I left Chicago with my daughter half a lifetime ago and have not been in touch with her father’s family. I was in NOLA for Mardi Gras 2000. Sad to think that David’s life ended on a sidewalk alone at 2 am there. May his soul rest in peace.


The Typist - February 2, 2014

Thanks for posting.


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