This is a picture of Jeffrey Baldwin in happier times. According to his father, the lively little boy loved Superman, and kept jumping off of chairs, trying to fly.

After Jeffrey's teenaged parents were accused of child abuse, Jeffrey and his older sister were were placed in the care of his maternal grandparents Elva Bottineau and Norman Kidman, people with a history of child abuse, that the Toronto Catholic Children's Aid Society's background checks somehow failed to detect.


Jeffrey and one of his sisters were locked in a bedroom for most of the day, made to drink out of the toilet, and starved. On November 20, 2002, Bottineau called the 911 to report that Jeffrey had stopped breathing. At his death the five year old weighed about the same as he had on his first birthday, and his little body was covered in sores and bruises. His older sister survived, it is speculated, because of the food she received as part of her school snack program. Jeffrey on the other hand, was not in Kindergarten (by law children must be in school starting at age 6.).

Last winter the Ontario Government held a coroner's inquest in the systematic failures that lead to the death of Jeffrey Baldwin. An Ottawa man, Todd Boyce, was so moved by the story, that he decided he wanted to create a memorial for the little boy. He raised money for the statue on Indiegogo and recruited sculptor Ruth Abernethy, known for a Glenn Gould bronze statue on a bench in front of the CBC building in Toronto and a bronze of Oscar Peterson outside the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, to design it.

However, the memorial has hit a bit of a snag. DC has denied them permission to use the Superman logo on the statue, stating that they do not wish to be associated with child abuse.

Boyce has decided to go ahead with the memorial anyways, changing the S on the costume into a "J". Still, it is awfully sad that DC would not allow this project to go forward in the original form. To my mind, the program would not be associating Superman with child abuse. It would be associating Superman with the dreams of a child, albeit one who's life was cut tragically short.