Toronto Unveils Statue To Honor Life Of Young Superman Fan Jeffrey Baldwin
The story of five-year-old Torontonian Jeffrey Baldwin is about as sad as it gets, but out of that heartbreaking story has come something uplifting.
Jeffrey died of starvation and septic shock in 2002 after years of physical and emotional abuse by his guardian grandparents, who kept him and his sister locked up in a filthy room. The grandparents were convicted of second-degree murder in 2006 and sentenced to 20 years for the grandfather and 22 years for the grandmother without parole.
Speaking at an inquest into the circumstances surrounding Jeffrey's death, Jeffrey's father, Richard Baldwin, talked about how much his son loved Superman, and how he had always wanted to fly. Todd Boyce, a dad in Ottowa, was so touched that he launched a campaign to honor Jeffrey's memory.
This weekend, Boyce's project came to fruition. A statue of Jeffrey in a Superman costume -- funded by an Indiegogo campaign -- was unveiled in Toronto's Greenwood Park.
Back in July, DC Entertainment stepped in to insist that the statue could not use the Superman logo, but within a day the company reversed itself and allowed the project to go ahead with its support. The statue has a secondary significance to Toronto and DC, because Superman co-creator Joe Shuster was born in the city.
At the statue's unveiling, Boyce said, "I think it's a testament to the human spirit ... that so many people, total strangers, were able to reach out and donate." The campaign raised more than $36,000 (Canadian), and signatures of Indiegogo contributors are etched into the bench on which Jeffrey's statue stands.
The statue is not Jeffrey's only legacy; Children's Services in the region have introduced reforms to their service standards to avoid a repeat of the circumstances that led to Jeffrey's death.
CTV has a full report on the unveiling.