We know that baby names have been inspired by missing children (e.g., Caylee Anthony, Kyron Horman, Natalee Holloway). Sadly, they’ve also been inspired by murdered children.
One example is Rainelle. The baby name Rainelle was given to 46 baby girls all of a sudden in 1949, making it a top debut name that year. Other baby girls were named Rainell (24), Ranell (8) and Raenelle (5).
So who was the victim?
Rainell Karel Downing, a 2-year-old from Michigan who was murdered in February of 1949. She and her mother Deliphene were victims of the Lonely Hearts Killers Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck.
Mrs. Beck admitted drowning the child, Rainelle [sic] Downing, in a tub of water after Fernandez had killed her mother, Mrs. Delphine [sic] Downing.
(Many newspapers misspelled their names “Rainelle” and “Delphine” repeatedly.)
After a highly sensationalized trial, Fernandez and Beck were found guilty of first-degree murder in August. Both were executed by electric chair about a year and a half later.
Poor Rainell didn’t live long, but it’s nice to think that her name lives on.
Source: “Jury Convicts ‘Hearts’ Pair of Murder.” Reading Eagle 18 Aug. 1949: 1+.