Heather’s Voice

April 3, 2012 § 3 Comments


Heather Norris was your ‘average’ teenage girl. She loved to hangout with friends and family and play sports. Her favorite sport was basketball, which she was especially good at. At the age of 18, she had her first serious boyfriend, Josh Bean. At this point, her close friends and family realized changes in Heather’s attitude, hobbies, and interests. She did not bring him around her family or friends like previous boyfriends. “Their relationship just seemed off,” said her mother, Debbie Norris, outside MSEE Monday night.

Months after they began dating, Heather finally confided in her mother that he had been beating her. She told her mother not to worry and just forget about it; She was a big girl and could handle it herself. The abusive behavior escalated to bruises all over her body and a concussion. This was enough for Heather to decide she needed to do something. She pressed charges against him. He did the classic apology and promised it would stop. They continued dating after graduation. She enrolled at Indiana University where she would study alongside her cousin. Shortly after school began, he would pick her up from school, refusing to return her. She started missing classes and eventually dropped out. She decided that she needed a job to survive, so she got a job that she loved and met a lot of new friends. This was not ok with Josh. He forced her to quit her job.

She is now 20 and having trouble finding direction in her life but she can’t seem to get out of this vicious cycle. One day a routine argument went too far. Bean stabbed her to death and stuffed her in a trashcan. He poured gasoline on her and set her on fire. As if that was not enough, he got a chainsaw and cut her up in pieces. He put parts of her in separate trash bags and dropped them off in different dumpsters around Indianapolis. He tried hard to cover his tracks by burning his rugs that were covered in blood and posting on her myspace that she wanted to run away. An Indianapolis resident noticed a very strong odor coming from her dumpster. When she investigated it further she found a clump of blonde hair. After watching the news, she contacted the police with her possible lead. When Bean was brought in for questioning, he confessed easily to the crime.

Debbie Norris’s story of Heathers life was very empowering to hear. It spreads awareness to young girls and parents to recognize domestic violence and how to take action against it. I will never be able to understand how Debbie Norris feels, but i can help spread this message for more people to hear. Following her speech, we had a walk for her around campus. Hopefully her story will impact others and possibly save lives. In addition, there has been a law signed called Heather’s Law. This encourages schools to teach about domestic violence. Here is a website where you can read more about her story: http://www.heathersvoice.net/ 


§ 3 Responses to Heather’s Voice

  • sbarell says:

    This story is so upsetting. I have actually heard this before when I was a freshman. Heathers mother came to a class that I was in and told this traumatic story. Her mother was so in depth in her words and expression that you could see every bit of emotion on her face. It was heartbreaking to listen to how her child was brutally murdered. This is a prime example of how domestic violence is real and happens frequently. People need to empower themselves and do what they can to raise awareness so that violence like this does not occur.

  • boilerup0924 says:

    Wow, I had never heard about this story, and it was very heart clenching to read. I couldn’t help but ask myself why would she stay, and why would her mother allow her to continue dating him? I know many times, it is hard for the victim to leave because of “love” or “dependance” on the abuser. But it is still always that question of Why after it is too late. The issue of domestic violence has been given more attention too within the last 6 years and continues to receive more publicity and awareness. It is a vital topic and something that 64% women encounter at some point in their lives. Something that we can not control, but something we can become more aware of.

  • ihowells says:

    It is great to know that she has had such an impact on this campus. She is bettering others so that they may not feel the loss that she has. And yes her story was so heartfelt and emotional that a lot of people in the crowd couldn’t help but tear up as she spoke of the horrible event. With such a reaction from everyone around, it is evident that she has started something that is empowering to both the men and women that hear her speak. I have shared her story with all of you and other close friends of mine. I hope that you all can take something from this story as well.

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