Carol Fay Kestenbaum
Born: February 18, 1987
Murdered: February 18, 2007
Carol grew up in Bellmore, NY, a Long Island suburb, with her parents and two older brothers. Carol was the definition of a “social butterfly”, making lifelong friends wherever she went. It was impossible not to love Carol! In school, Carol played sports, made the honor roll, and spent time with her friends. She went to Camp Canadensis for 10 years, and loved every summer spent there with her best friends. Carol was passionate about life – there was no day but today! She also loved Broadway (RENT being her favorite!), *NSYNC (JC 4eva), and the color red (everything was red!). She was a beautiful girl who loved her family and friends, and cared deeply for them. Carol was fearless, funny, independent, spunky, loyal, and kind. She wanted what was best for everyone she cared about.
Carol graduated from John F. Kennedy High School, and went to college at Arizona State University as an Education Major. During her sophomore year at college, Carol’s roommate was in an unhealthy relationship with her boyfriend, and she encouraged her to break up with him – which her roommate ultimately did. This young man, being unwell, called his mother who lived out of state, and asked her to mail him his guns – which she did. On February 18, 2007, Carol and her best friend Nicole, who had been visiting Arizona to celebrate Carol’s 20th birthday, came back to Carol’s apartment after a night of celebrating. As the two of them got out of their car and began walking through the parking lot towards the building, Carol’s roommate’s ex-boyfriend approached them. He had been waiting all night. He shot Carol in the head, and she died instantly. Nicole began to scream and run away, but he shot her in the back as she ran, and although Nicole fought hard for her life, she died shortly after at the hospital. Carol’s murderer then turned the gun on himself. Carol and Nicole were taken home to New York and buried side by side. Hundreds of people attended Carol’s funeral, heartbroken and sick with grief.
How could this have happened?
How could this be allowed to happen?
Carol’s foundation came about as a way to help Carol’s memory live on. Carol’s life, dreams, and ambitions were important and through her foundation we can DO the GOOD that Carol would had done, empowering youth and making the world a better place.
The Carol Kestenbaum Foundation supports the Long Island Crisis Center’s Suicide Prevention program. We want to make sure that this tragedy does not happen to another family. If someone is struggling with depression, rage, or suicidal/homicidal thoughts, there are people who can help. Carol loved her years at camp so much, and so at Project Morry we have Carol’s Circle. Here, young girls are taught to empower themselves, raise their self-esteem, and make positive choices. Carol believed that no one should sacrifice their self-worth or live their life in fear. Carol was the life of the party, the star of the show, and if you didn’t like it? Tough. It was her show, and she was 100% herself! These girls are taught to stand up for themselves, what they believe in, and what is right and to always be yourself, everyone else is taken.