The Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Silent Witness Project
The Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Silent Witness Project was established by the Bowling Green State University's Women’s Center in 2002. This initiative was in response to the 2000 murder of a BGSU graduate, Michelle Rizzi, by her husband. Michelle's body was discovered on the BGSU campus in 2001.
In the Spring of 2002, a tree and the first Silent Witness figure was dedicated to Michelle's memory in a ceremony on the BGSU campus. Since then, the Women’s Center staff has researched the murders of many Northwest Ohio women. Unfortunately, many more new figures are added every year for girls and women murdered in Northwest Ohio.
After 10 years figures are “retired” and their chestplates are displayed at the annual Silent Witness Unveiling Ceremony. For these figures, their individual chestplates—where the stories of their lives and their murders are documented—are kept with the display so that we will continue to remember their names and their stories.
Silent Witness National Initiative