Where did the baby name Kashonna come from in 1984?

Cleveland murder victims Kashona and Myrio Davis (circa 1984)
Kashona and Myrio Davis

The name Kashonna appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 1984:

  • 1986: unlisted
  • 1985: 8 baby girls named Kashonna
  • 1984: 15 baby girls named Kashonna [debut]
  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A gruesome news story.

In October of 1984, a mentally ill man in Cleveland named Darnell Parker tortured his family over an 18-hour period. He was trying to “[drive] the devil out of their bodies.”

His common-law wife, Linda Davis, managed to escape and notify authorities. When the police arrived, they found one of Linda’s three children was already dead. Another died hours later at the hospital.

According to the initial news reports, the first victim was 2-year-old Kashonna, who had been decapitated. The second was 8-year-old Myril, who’d been “stabbed in the chest and back” and “also suffered burns on his face.” The third child, 4-year-old Natalia, “was in critical condition with multiple stab wounds and burns.”

By the time of Parker’s indictment a week later, doctors had figured out that the first victim was actually Natalia, not Kashonna, and reporters had figured out that Darnell Parker’s last name was actually Donnell, and that Myril’s first name was actually Myrio.

Though Kashonna survived for several more weeks, she ended up passing away later the same month. (Incidentally, her name is spelled Kashona on the children’s shared gravestone.)


Image: Clipping from Jet magazine (22 Oct. 1984)

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