Diet Coke 'angel': Yeardley Love made a big impression

cover-laxmurder-soror-insetYeardley Love was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and the UVA women's lacrosse team.

On May 23, 22-year-old Yeardley Love should have had every right to be celebrating her college graduation with her family and friends, her sorority sisters in Kappa Alpha Theta, and her UVA women's lacrosse teammates.

Instead, sometime before then, those who knew Love will gather for a funeral of the young woman whose friends have described her as an "angel" and who achieved her dream of joining the UVA women's lacrosse team–– playing in 15 games this season–- only to have her life ended in what now appears to be a terrifying act of violence.

"I remember when you were my counselor a few years ago, that smile was absolutely contagious," wrote one poster on a memorial Facebook site, which had gathered more than 12,000 fans one day after her May 3 death.

"She was truly an angel on earth," writes Jennifer Blair, who taught Love when she was in middle school at Notre Dame Academy in Towson, Maryland, where Love would later be an All American whose goal was to attend UVA.

During the current season's game against Loyola, Love earned the thrill of causing her opponents to commit two turnovers, according to

"I had wanted to play lacrosse at Virginia since I was little," Love said in a 2009 interview on, "so coming here was like a dream come true."

Many of those closest to Love have remained silent and cloistered in the day since her death, choosing not to discuss the case or publicly share their memories of their friend.

"We are in a state of mourning, and for the respect and privacy of Yeardley and her family are not ready to comment further on the situation," wrote Courtney Schaefer, president of Kappa Alpha Theta, of which Yeardley was a member.

According to one student athlete, the media frenzy over the killing has become so hot that University officials have instructed members of various sports teams to refrain not only from making any public comments about the case or their friends, but even from accepting new friends on social networking sites such as Facebook.

But if her teammates aren't sharing memories, those who taught Love both in high school and in college recall a bright and motivated student.

"Yeardley was an outstanding young lady–- delightful, friendly, and happy," writes the headmistress of Notre Dame Prep, Sister Patricia McCarron. "She readily shared her many talents with our community–- as a student in the classroom, as a standout athlete on the field hockey and lacrosse fields, as a caring citizen through her service work. Yeardley was, is, and always will be one of ââ?¬Ë?our girls.’"

And a professor in UVA's political science department–- Love's major–- says that even in a class of 250, she made an impression.

"She seemed like a very bright, dynamic, energetic young woman," says the professor, Bill Quandt, who taught Love in a middle eastern politics course. "She exuded self-confidence," he says. "It's a tragedy when someone loses their life at an early age, but with this kind of potential going for her, it struck me as particularly deep loss."

Even those who didn't know Love well recalled her with fondness.

"She couldn't be nicer, more pleasant, outgoing," says Chaney Kent, owner of the Corner Market on University Avenue, where Love would visit a couple of times each week, always for a 12-ounce can of Diet Coke. "When a girl has a name like 'Love,' you don't forget," says Kent, adding that he was surprised that his petite customer was a collegiate athlete.

Despite her gregarious nature, however, many of the students living in and around her apartment building at 222 14th Street say they had never met Love and had no knowledge anything had happened that night.

“No, we don’t know anything,” said one neighbor in a flat tone, before closing the door in a reporter's face. “We’re graduate students, so we don’t really keep up with the undergraduate scene," said another resident.

But Rolfe Garcia, a 22-year old second-year, says he was still up studying early Monday morning when he heard a woman "weeping and sobbing loudly outside the apartment building."

Garcia saw flashing lights but didn't learn the reason for the police response until after his morning classes.

"It's completely shocking," he says.


Seems like everyone is on here to defend their own opinion and actually getting quite lost on the truth. I don't know what the truth is....just the reality and that is a young life has been taken...a young life wasted....a family who has to make peace with it all...and the world is a little dimmer without this young lady in it.

The only shame I see here is in the defensive and rattling posts made by a few narcissists.

My sincere condolences to Yeardley's family and friends.

Another lovely, bright young lady who had so much to offer to so many - gone. This is so tragic.

I agree with County Farmer. Bottom line is, these students get everything handed to them. How do they show there appreciation? Well, we have our answer in the story above.

Yes, amazing statement that "you don't question anyone's right to express an opinion" considering your despicable rhetoric. The fact that this event occurred at UVA and involved two privileged beautiful young people is the fodder for this forum. Even you may agree that all socio-economic classes in the US are wealthy in the eyes of those say in Africa and Haiti which makes your comments even more meaningless though not less vile. You come across sounding like a psychology graduate student in your post. I think you should consider an anger management course.

It's a common type of murder getting an uncommon amount of attention. Any wonder why? The privilege lies not in the cause but in the aftermath.

Perhaps we can all learn a lesson from Rolfe Garcia's comment. When we hear weeping or sobbing nearby, especially from a woman, it is probably wise to not ignore it. It would be best to alert to cops if you don't feel comfortable investigating it yourself. Who knows what could have been prevented if others had heard those sounds too, but chose to address them instead.

I have children exposed to this exact culture. There is a definite problem with the current societal values and reinforcements placed on young children and adults today. Yes, entitlement robs kids from earning deserved praise and the deep down knowing that you, not your parents, have acheived something. Children aim to earn trophies to get into colleges that their parents and peers have deemed as worthy. What happened to going to college and finishing your degree? Not good enough I suppose. Why are the science nerds and poets never lauded? Kids want to please and society has decided that it is more valuable for a university to scoop a top athlete than an A student willing to work hard and is a well rounded, grounded individual. Lacrosse is of course not the only sport suseptable to this craziness. However since it is played mostly in neighborhhods on affluence, it becomes an intensified culture. You need money for gear etc. You can't just grab a bat and/or a ball.
This is not an attack on lacrosse nor the merits and accomplishments of many young students who have flourished under its programs. There are questions to be learned and asked for the prevention of this tradgedy repeating itself. One of course being the teaching and responsibility of everyone who senses any type of an abusive situation to speak up. If we can train people to report suspicious unattended pacakges, can we not educate them to speak out if there are grounds for another's physical safety?
This is a tradegy for everyone. It is sad that coaches can't seem to praise athletes more for giving their best and learn how to cope with both dissapointment and victory. Maybe those coping skills and real life lessons would have prevented a young man from killing his girlfriend rather than dealing with rejection.

All men are screwed up. That is it in a nutshell. There is no reason why they do the dumb things that they do. We love them, we hate them.....but in the end they are screwed up. I have many years of dealing with them and I have concluded that they are totally screwed up. I have a very good male friend and he said they are screwed up. He has more years and daughters than I--- and I think he is on to something. Men are some screwed up people.

Yup, yup, yup. Mah daddy married his seester, but it didn't affect me. Yee-haw! Uh, where wuz I?

Oh, I remember: Let's go lynch us a priv-i-ledged You-Vee-Yay frat boy. Mmm, hmm. Let;s go lynch 'em all, dagnabbit. That''' be better than a hawg killin' round this-here holler!"

Cue: Foggy Mountain Breakdown

Mel- Tim Brown sprung.

colfer is right.

This sort of crime occurs all too often, across all sectors of society.

It's the resulting media coverage and widespread attention that is unusual.

It is ridiculous that you all are arguing over the cause of this tragedy, and completely disrespectful to the students, their families, and their friends. get over yourselves. Yes this type of crime is common, and yes it can occur in any socio-ecnomic group, but what does it matter? A good person, with a bright future, had her life taken away. Show some respect if you're going to say anything at all.

Christina - Tim Brown will do ya right

I did not know Yeardley but I feel the impact of this tragic loss personally. My hopes are to live a life like she lived hers. All this week I have been mourning her death as if I knew her and it has taken a large toll on me emotionally, mentally, as well as physically. Instead of greiving her death I am now celebrating her life and thinking about what a truly beautiful, intelligent, and kind person she was. For the time she spent on this Earth she lived a good life, didn't she?

Aw, shucks... I understand.

Sometimes I too want to play like I'm on NCIS or Bones and throw in all my crazy theories, personal political and moral insights. And smite down anyone who doesn't take what I have to say as the last word....but then.... that would be a little too self-centered don't ya think?

Okay so if I have to "stoop" then I'd have to say people who post then spends time bantering back and forth to see who can be the most sarcastic at a time when it is least appreciated probably spends a lot of time throwing "glass" at "stone" houses. Pointless yes?

It is amazing how many people feel the need to make negative comments regarding this situation. As a student who knew both Yeardley and George, I ask all of you to please refrain from making any more hurtful comments and to pray for both Yeardley and George's families and friends. This situation is devastating for everyone who knew either of these young people and the media surrounding this situation doesnt help anyone. She was an amazing person and she will be missed dearly. The rest of the details do not matter because in the end a beautiful and kind persons life was taken from her and that cannot be changed.

This is a tragic death of another young lady with a promising future, taken by the hands of a beast. After I read about this story, one of my first thoughts was how sad, and that the guy who killed her probably came from money (and then I read he did). Spoiled do nothing SOB. I hope he gets the death penalty.

Spot on, Yes and colfer.

I find it ironic that I was called out for my pomposity after I was defending many of the opinions expressed on this forum, and after we were all subjected to the infinite wisdom of "Yes."


You certainly have not furthered this conversation with your daily spoonful of pomposity.


The most intelligent post I have ever seen in the Hook comments section.

Just another sad example of how the first generation(Huguely) builds something, the second generation expands it, the third generation spends it and the fourth generation destroys it. I see it every day. American youth are throwing away everything our founders worked and died for and foreign immigrants are only too happy to fill the void left by out "lost" generation. I feel very sad for Yeardley Love and her family for being a victum of this spoiled brat american youth. This scenario happens only to often these days and is a reflection of what is going wrong in our society. Remember the medical student from Boston that killed the craigslist callgirl? Unbelievable future with everything handed to them but totally unappreciative. Hard to believe that even UVA/Charlottesville is not immune to such events.

you would think with all the legal issues in society today, that uva would double check their athletes in terms of background. you cant do that for 14k students,but you can for 500 kids. but stuff sneaks thru the cracks. i will believe they did not know until i see real proof otherwise. lacrosse, although successful, runs below the radar for 95% of the poeple interested in uva. if GH was a football player, his arrest would have been public knowledge and the school would have been forced to deal with it. but lacrossse has no visibility and this kid slipped through. Im sure GH had a lawyer at the time who counseled his family on what their rights were in regards to the 2008 arrest and they made a conscious decision not to tell anyone, which is their right.

His lacrose coach surely knew this punk, unless the coach lived in a vacumm or had no concern.

Everyone talks about ââ?¬Å?warning signs””Š”Š”Š.an athletic coach is a life coach. The best ones know their charges and can get the point across, and still have ââ?¬Å?winning” teams. Maybe the punk was ââ?¬Å?too good a player to fail”. Maybe the team and coach wanted the win so badly that it didn’t matter how they did it. The other players knew this punk too- they never had the balls to say a thing or keep him in line. Now they all say ââ?¬Å?we knew something would happen”Š..” a little late to speak up.

None of these people who never had the balls to say a thing, or intervene will ever make it in the real world, without help from daddy”Š.

"Yes" must have sliced mighty close to the bone to get some county hick and a clueless "lostinthecrowd" revved up into such righteous froth of indignation. Looks like you boys are a couple of insecure, neurotic weenies, eh, country farmer-boy? Eh, cluelessinacrowd?



i mean, Rolfe Garcia is not a 22 year old second year. get the factsstraight.

The ding dongs on these boards are just amazingly foolish. You seek an explanation for a crime that occurs, sadly, far too often, and blame abstractions such as wealth and privilege for a murder. Shame on you.

Truth is, there are crimes of domestic violence committed by any stereotyped individual from any socio-economic group you care to name. If this had been a poor kid in a trailer park bashing in his ex-girlfriend's head, the same bozos on this board would be decrying him as a "redneck" or "po-white trash." if the crime occurred in an inner-city neighborhood, those same dummies would be blaming poverty or raising thinly-veiled racist concerns.

People digging up simplistic answers to complex questions in order to satisfy their own pre-determined opinions not only make me sick, they are, in fact, just another jabbering part of society's problems.

I don't question anyone's right to express an opinion, even though I couldn't care less about most of them. But it is not too much to expect some semblance of intelligence to back up those opinions. Failing that, most of the people on these boards come off as boobs, lunatics, or hopelessly ignorant. This includes the handful of individuals with agendas to advance, such as brittle, publicity-seeking eccentrics whose quarter-century-old experiences have become the defining moments of their lives. Or people whose personal tragedies have pushed them over the edge so they come here to wail. None of this explains anything, least of all your naive platitudes and half-assed attempts at understanding something on which you have already made up your minds. Most of you aren't engaging in a dialog; you spew a diatribe.

In sum, Colfer, I agree with your thoughts, the subtlety of which has probably gone sailing over their heads.

Colfer, Yes:
an oasis of sensibility in a desert of so much peeing against a wall.

Where's the fun in a news site message board if you can't poke fun at the fools, conspiracy crackpots and mean-spirited loonies?

The most intelligent post you've ever seen in a Hook comments section? Please.

I haven't seen a single comment that "blames abstractions such as wealth and privilege for a murder." That's an oversimplification of the anger and indignation expressed here.

Of course such crimes occur everyday in every socioeconomic sphere--that goes without saying. Man's inhumanity to man (or woman) is a theme as old as civilization. This case has captured our imaginations for many reasons, and sure, one of those reasons is a societal fascination with rich, pretty white folks. Yet to ignore the larger implications of this particular crime (and its particular set of circumstances) guarantees that Love's tragic death will be one out of many, because nobody will bother to take a good, hard look at all that went wrong.

Huguely's background isn't the CAUSE of this crime. Nor is it irrelevant. We're experiencing the backlash of overprivileged generations who have never been told "no," and who are almost sociopathically unable to empathize. When you add violent tendencies to this type of personality, the ensuing temper tantrums (I want what I want, and I want it now) become dangerous, if not fatal.

it is complicated. sounds to me that the girl was moving on in life and found the guy no longer the right partner, the boy probably stagnated over the last 4 yrs due to a singular focus on lacrosse and parties. she probably had a plan, or wanted a plan, and was not finding one in him. he recognized that, and realized he could no longer "compete" for her with guys who had a plan. probably first time in his life that sensation ever came into his brain. he did not handle it well.

This is truly a tragic story with a tragic outcome. No one should die in a pool of their own blood. The only reason for all these comments is that this story is about two very wealthy privileged kids. Change the story to a couple of Piedmont students and it would be a one day story. There is a strong feeling that he will get off with a slap on the wrist because that is what money can buy. This is no different the Kennedy clan with Teddy K getting kicked out of Harvard only to attend UVa, or the Chappaquiddick incident all of which did not stop his daddy from buying him a senator seat. Of course money talks and people will look the other way.

Her blood is both on George Huguely's hands and on the hands of his family. There were too many disturbing past incidences in this young man's life. It is a shame his parents were not able to get their disturbed son help and treatment before this tragedy had to take place. If my son had 1. attacked me or his dad on our boat during a family vacation or 2. attacked a female police office 3. attacked a teammate then you better believe I would be very alarmed and wouldn't sleep at night. He had an alcohol problem and rage issues and there was not enough done to straighten this kid out. It's a good lesson learned for other parents and family members.....if you're kid is disturbed and a threat to self and others....take RADICAL ACTION now so you don't spend the rest of your life visiting that kid in some state prison. Don't bury your head in the sand...the problem will not go away. Rest in peace Yeardley Love, you are the victim of a family's failure to act.


I agree with you, however, one of my children attended VCU, and repeatedly filed police reports against someone destroying their work and threatening them there during class times. Quite literally no one cares, no one wants to know, and no one will act to put a 48 hour hold on someone with a mental health problem.
No one interceded with Mr. Huguely V, no one interceded with Sung Hui Cho, and no one at VCU will intercede either. Your children are on their own out there because we do not have effective methods for protecting them against predators with a variety of mental health issues.

Damn Courtney - didnt realize you were that good looking. I see ya on Nancy Grace doin your thing

Tim Brown - what is wrong with you?

Whoever Tim Brown is really needs to be denied access to leave ANY comments from now on.


Men are not screwed up. men and women are just different. I'd list the dumb, irrational things that I've women do, but who knows if there's a character limit on the board. TB is on to something in that men and women cast these differences aside in the bedroom.