Memorial website in the memory of your loved one

This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Tesslynn O'Cull who was born in Oregon on June 08, 1994 and passed away on June 14, 1997 at the age of 3. We will remember her forever.

Tesslynn O'Cull was beaten, burned, bound, sexually assaulted, starved, tortured and brutalized by her mother’s boyfriend, Jesse Compton, and her own mother, Stella Kiser, in the days leading to her death. Her back was broken 2-3 weeks prior to her death and rubbing alcohol had been poured into open wounds on her body.


Early in 1997, Stella Kiser and her daughter, 2 and-a-half year-old O'Cull, began living with Jesse Caleb Compton in his apartment. Compton hosted "drug parties" at his apartment, some of which went on for several days. He prepared methamphetamine for smoking by melting it with a small propane torch. On at least one occasion, Compton held the lighted torch close to his hand to show his friends that he could withstand a great deal of pain.

Abuse and Murder

Soon after Kiser and Tesslynn moved in with Compton, he began abusing Tesslynn. He hit her on her buttocks and back with a wooden spoon, a spatula, and a belt. Visitors to the apartment witnessed Compton slap her in the face, drag her by her hair, force her to stand in the corner for long periods of time, and make her take long, cold baths or showers. He was frequently angry with Tesslynn, and called her disparaging names. Visitors also observed that Compton and Kiser usually kept Tesslynn in the bedroom during the drug parties, and they could hear the child cry for hours after Compton had been in the bedroom with her. He would not permit others to go into the bedroom to help her. Eventually, Compton and Kiser kept Tesslynn in the bedroom most of the time. When a neighbor complained about the way that defendant treated Tesslynn, defendant told him that he would kill the neighbor and the neighbor's girlfriend if they called the police.

Approximately two months before Tesslynn's death, Compton broke four vertebrae in her back. Sometime thereafter, he forcefully penetrated her vagina with an object and inflicted burns on the child's back, buttocks, and genitals using an open flame. Some of those burns became infected, and Compton poured rubbing alcohol into them. He also inflicted round burns on the child's legs. During the two-week period before Tesslynn died, Compton immobilized her 10 to 15 times by placing her hands and feet over her head and tying them together with ropes, cords, or strips of cloth. He left her tied up for eight to ten hours at a time. Within 24-hours preceding the child's death, defendant struck her in the head several times, causing bruising to her brain, and either punched her in the abdomen or stomped on her with his foot, causing severe internal injuries. He also scraped and bruised her abdomen with a fork.

Compton found Tesslynn dead in the bedroom of the apartment between midnight and 2:00 a.m. on June 14, 1997. Compton cut Tesslynn loose from her restraints and tried to revive her by giving her CPR. He also struck her in the left side of the chest a few times with his fist, then applied a frayed, live electrical cord to her chest, and splashed her with cold water. He was unable to revive her.

Compton and Kiser agreed to leave the body in the bedroom while they thought about what to do. Tesslynn's injuries were so extensive that Compton and Kiser feared that they would go to jail if anyone saw the body. Eventually, they decided to bury the body, which they did with the help of defendant's sister. In the days after they buried Tesslynn, Compton and Kiser were happy, playful, and affectionate with one another. They told friends that Tesslynn was with a babysitter or at the home of Kiser's aunt, and they were planning to move out of town. They also told friends that they wanted to have a baby boy.


On the evening of June 16, 1997, Compton's sister told the Springfield Police Department that she had helped Compton and Kiser bury Tesslynn's body in the Sweet Home, Oregon area two days earlier. Early on the morning of June 17, 1997, Springfield police officers found the child's body buried in a grave near a logging road in the area that Compton's sister had described. They unearthed the body and arranged for an autopsy. In the grave, they also found, among other things, a piece of cloth that appeared to be torn from a curtain, a strip of gray cloth, a blue braided belt, and a woman's ring with a pink stone in it.

That afternoon, police officers went to Compton's apartment. They advised Compton of his Miranda rights and obtained his permission to enter the apartment and to look around. Most of the apartment was dirty and smelled bad. There were holes in the walls, which Compton had made by punching the walls when he was angry or by throwing knives.

In subsequent searches of the apartment, the police found drug paraphernalia, drug residue, and a propane torch. They also found a lamp with a cut cord, a pair of pliers with burn residue on it, rubbing alcohol bottles, and white cloths with knots in them. In a search of a dumpster near defendant's apartment, the police found two trash bags from defendant's apartment that contained a Mother's Day card for Kiser, child's clothing, an electrical cord that had been cut and had a frayed end, a blue cloth, a white cloth, and a shoestring with knots in them, and a rope. The cloth and shoestring had hair mixed in with the knots. Some of the cloth that the police found was similar to cloth that had been found in the child's grave.


The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy concluded that Tesslynn had died of shock, and he listed the cause of death as "battered child syndrome." Compton was indicted on six counts of aggravated murder, murder by abuse, first-degree sexual penetration, and second-degree abuse of a corpse. The jury convicted him of all counts, and he was sentenced to death. Stella Kiser was found guilty of aggravated murder, and sentenced to life without possibility of parole, on April 30, 1999, at her second trial. The first trial ended in a mistrial. 

Other Angels flying high with Tesslynn - Take time to remember them too.
Light a Candle for these Angels: 

Skyla Brooks  ~  Kelsey Briggs  ~ Tessa Leadford  ~  Amanda Gallegos 
Teagen McKinney  ~  Dillan Coleman ~ Nick Wilson


                         It kills our children.

I believe it is ridicules to have to do this, but some people feel a need to use profanity when they write here. THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN. Remember this site is to honor Tesslynn, and when a person uses such language, it demeans this child memorial site. I REFUSE to allow Tesslynn to be victimize in death too. Say what you need to say, but do it without using profanity. Tesslynn is a child of God, so act appropriately.

Tributes and Condolences
i am not "just as guilty"   / Lacey Compton
im tired of reading about how guilty i am. i did not take part in the murder of this child. i was threatened by jesse . he said he would kill before he went to prison over this. i also turned them in and testified against them and still have to go th...  Continue >>
Merry Christmas   / Dennis (Sleepy) Deno Jr. (Family Friend )
I think of you often Tesslynn. I still can't believe it all happened. I remember holding you after you first came home from the hospital, and 3 short years later you were gone. Your passing has always bothered me deeply. I would never have thought St...  Continue >>
For tesslynn   / Janine Wustrau (None)
one thing I forgot to write. I love the photos where you eat a candy cane. you see it, like my daughter. you were so sweet. I love you little tesslynn
For tesslynn   / Janine Wustrau (None)
hello little tess, I'm from Germany and my English is not so good. I'm sorry. I read your story. over and over again. I cry for days and can not stop. I am so sorry. I was at your memorial page. your aunt has written there that they wanted to look fo...  Continue >>
To Lacey   / Teri (Mourner)
You are a complete failure as a human. Here's the thing: Jesse called YOU to come help. There had to have been a reason he knew he could call on you. And you went, and you helped. Of course you did -- because you're one of them, you're a vomitous...  Continue >>
I weep every day for you  / Teri MacNeil (None)    Read >>
Your cousin  / Bailey Kiser (Cousin)    Read >>
RIP sweet angel  / Cynthia Sell (none)    Read >>
Still today  / Mary Dingler (Love)    Read >>
grief stricken  / Rosalynn Escobedo (none)    Read >>
Sweet Tess  / Nina (None, but. I wish she was my own.. )    Read >>
You are not forgotten Tesslyn  / Melanie     Read >>
More people need to hear about baby Tesslyn  / J. A.     Read >>
love sweet baby  / Nicole Muller (none)    Read >>
God speed, baby girl. Be at peace.  / Natalie Anderson (heartbroken reader )    Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
Her legacy
Tesslynn's Memory Will Endure  

I would like to thank CAW and the members of “Scrapbook Flair” for honoring Tesslynn is such a beautiful manner. These amazing members are creating absolutely stunning scrapbook pages for Miss Tesslynn. Please visit their site to see what awesome tribute pages they have made to honor our precious Tesslynn. As always, I am thrilled that people are willing to keep this beautiful child’s memory alive. I cannot thank each of them enough for their efforts!

Please view Tesslynn's Tribute.

Also, I would like to thank the person that has sent me pictures of Tesslynn's resting place.  If I could I would give you a great big hug for being such a kind and loving person.  Thank you so much. 

Tesslynn O'Cull  

Tesslynn O'Cull was a child abuse victim who was murdered by her mother’s boyfriend and her own mother.  Her image was used in the Stop the Abuse poster for Oregon.

Her death should not be in vain.  

I have very little knowledge of this baby. No pictures, other than her poster, that I have been able to find and limited information, but this child was ignored in life and in death she should not have to suffer the same fate. Do not ignore child abuse because Tesslynn's death could and should have been prevented. It is up to all of us to protect the young children that roam this earth.

Children Who Die Are Not Really Gone

Children who die are not really gone,
But go to a place that is something like home,
Where they sleep the deep sleep, as quiet as stone,
Until we can join them when our lives are done.

Children who die are not really dead,
But just like good children tucked into bed,
Wait the long wait while we go ahead
Till our tales are all told and our tears are all shed.
Children who die feel no pleasure or pain
In the place where they wait till they see us again,
And all of us dance in a world washed with rain
Where the sun shines so brightly no sorrows remain.

~Unknown Arthur~

Tesslynn's Photo Album
Tesslynn O'Cull's "Stop the Abuse" poster.
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