Keli McGinness
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
Her legacy
CBS VIDEO, "The Green River Killer"



Links to important articles about the topic of teen prostitution will be posted here as they become available.  This is to honor Keli's memory by providing information on how teens who become involved in this dangerous lifestyle are now being helped.  Each article has been numbered and is followed by the link to read it.  --WEBMASTER


1)  CBS NEWS Report "Teenage Prostitution" found at:

2) Here is an excerpt from CHEERS AND JEERS (Jan. 23, 2010):

Cheers: To indefatigable former Congresswoman Linda Smith and her nonprofit, Shared Hope International, for championing changes in state laws regarding sex trafficking. Smith and her staff journeyed to Olympia twice this week to testify on behalf of three important bills. Senate Bill 6330 would authorize the state Department of Transportation to place informational posters in rest areas; SB6332 would require employers of foreign workers to inform them of their rights; and SB6476 would stiffen criminal penalties for pimps and add protections for young prostitutes.

Though prostitution isn’t very visible on local streets, authorities say the problem is pervasive. Girls, many of them runaways, are transported between cheap motels along the I-5 corridor. Clark County is a favorite recruiting spot. Accompanying Smith to Olympia was a La Center teen who narrowly escaped the life of prostitution after being recruited to work in a Seattle strip club.

found at:

3)  "Oregon teen prostitute rescued," in U.S. News, at"

4) Kellie Tunbridge, "Runaway Storm: Young adult book tackles issue of teen runaways".  San Jose Family Examiner (Jan. 5, 2010), at:

5) Levi Pulkkinen, "West Seattle pimp sentenced to 17 years", The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Jan. 22, 2010), at:

6) KOMO-TV Staff, "Ex-stripper testifies at statehouse on bill," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Jan. 24, 2010), at:

7)  Claudia Rowe, "P-I Special Report: The Youngest Profession: Seatlte is a hub for luring teens into lives of prostitution," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Dec. 6, 2005), at:

8) Claudia Rowe, "No Way Out: Teen Girls Sell Bodies in Seattle," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (June 30, 2008), at:

9) Levi Pulkkinen, "Child Prostitution out of Shadows in Seattle," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Jan. 13, 2010), at:

10)  Ian Urbina, "Legislators Work to improve laws on runaways," THE NEW YORK TIMES (Jan. 3, 2010), at:

11) Eric Wilkinson, KING-5 News Report:

12) Susan Kelleher, "Teen Missing After Testifying Against Pimp," THE SEATTLE TIMES (Dec. 20, 2010), at:

13)"Teen Prostitution a Hidden Epidemic",, at:

14) Judy Keen, "Child Prostitution Cases Reveal Cruel Underworld," USA TODAY (7/26/06), at:

15) Sara Jean Green, "Teen prostitution on the run", THE SEATTLE TIMES (Jan. 20, 2011), at:

 16) Eric Ruthford, "Special Report: Controlled and Abused, Teens Exploited in Prostitution Trade Cannot Get Out," Common Language Project (Nov. 22, 2010), at:,-teens-exploited-in-prostitution-trade-canapost-get-out_00221

17) Leslie Bennetts, "The John Next Door", NEWSWEEK (July 25, 2011), at:

















(For Keli Kay McGinness, 4/17/65-6/28/83)

I never went back for my daughter,
But I surely do want her to know
To me she’ll always be special
Though I could not watch her grow.
I know that I am just a name to her,
She does not remember my face.
She does not recall that I sang her lullabies
Or talked to her softly at night,
Living in dreary motel rooms,
Hoping things would turn out all right.

I wanted to watch my daughter grow up,
To be happy and safe, unafraid,
To think before doing things that could be wrong,
Not to make those choices I made.

I never went back for my daughter,
And I’ll mourn it through eternity.
I hope she knows how much I love her,
Though on earth I can no longer be.

I hope that she knows that I am now free
Up here in the heavenly light,
Where there is no pain, sadness or despair,
Or dreams that don’t turn out quite right.

Though I never came back for my daughter,
I want her to know that I pray
For her safety and only God’s blessings
To always show her the way.

--Janice B. Tehie
April 18, 2008

Thoughts 24 years later (poem)--written by Janice Tehie  
I'm looking down from Heaven
and liking what I see.
It's wonderful to know
That folks remember me

Not for the life I lived or why
I chose to live that way
But for the kind of person I
Tried to be from day to day.

I look down now and see
My daughter Katt is safe
Which makes me overjoyed
That she's escaped by faith

In herself and knowing that 
There is a better way
To live than being unsafe
On those streets each day.

I hope my daughter knows
She's worth more than they say,
These men that want you out there,
No matter what the weather,
No matter what the cost,
They just take advantage
When you are feeling lost.

Each time I said I wanted to quit
I was either berated or hit.
I kept hearing the refrain,
"Don't let me hear you say that again".

I don't know why I believed him.
I guess I was confused,
Too lost and too uncertain
To know I was being used.

I'm glad my daughter now is safe,
I watch down on her each day,
Tell God to watch her closely
And to please light her way,
To show the path to safety, health,
And that choices have a cost.
Please, God, don't ever fail me,
I don't want my daughter lost.
DISAPPEARANCE--poem for Keli Kay McGinness  
For Keli Kay McGinness, aged 18 (June 28, 1983)

No one has ever found me
No matter how they try.
I wonder if they’ll ever know
Exactly where I lie.

I disappeared in 1983.
I never knew that I would be
Killed and left to lie alone
Without my name put on a stone.

I made my living on the street.
It was a job, I had to eat.
My boyfriend and I moved from place to place-
I often didn’t see a friendly face

For weeks on end. The girls I knew,
We talked and shared our dreams.
I thought someday that I could leave this life
And make a future as a mother and wife.

But that chance came to an end
When the man I called a friend
Picked me up for what we called a “date”
But something triggered his rage and hate
Against the girls out on the street. He acted fine
Until we drove away
And then he said that I would have to pay

For all my sins. I tried to get away,
Told him I had a daughter four months old--
To no avail. His face and eyes were cold.
He cared nothing for my plight. I cried and struggled
As he strangled me. He laughed as I lay dying. Flashes of memory came in my last minutes. I thought of my mother.

She warned me years ago. I remember when
She told me to be careful, that some men
Wanted to kill girls out on the street,
But I told her I had the system beat.

Now they search for me, still not knowing where I am.
He will not tell, I understand.
My spirit hovers round, waiting until they find me
To take me away from this desolate, deserted spot where I was left,
Where nobody knows, but me.

                                  --written by Janice B. Tehie

(I found Keli's story to be just haunting, perhaps because we were close in age. I was born May 20, 1965 and her birthday was April 17, 1965. There but for the Grace of God go I!)

Keli's Legacy  

I did not know Keli Kay McGinness and have never been out to Washington State or any of the other areas where Keli lived.  She was only a month older than I was, and had a loving mother and family.  Because of an event beyond her control, she was traumatized and lived a precarious and dangerous existence, though she never lost her loving spirit, sense of humor or keen intelligence.  She left behind a son and daughter and a family that deeply loves and misses her and wants her remains to be found so she can be properly laid to rest. 

Keli's story serves as a reminder to all young women, of the dangers that are faced in modern society.  Whether or not we want to acknowledge them, they exist.  Keli made some choices that weren't wise, but she made them because she felt she had no other choice. Keli disappeared in the blink of an eye, unable to realize her dreams, and her family and friends never saw her again. Keli's story should make all of us realize that no matter what we do or who we are, we are all valued and important to somebody as human beings. 


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