As nearly 500 motorcycles and emergency vehicles roared through the streets of Skippack Township in honor of slain Spring-Ford Area High School senior Julianne Siller, it offered a stark contrast to the solemn moments less than three months ago when community members met to honor her memory with a vigil in Palmer Park.
The Julianne Siller Memorial Ride began at the Trappe Tavern—though there were so many motorcycles that some had to park down the street at the Trappe Fire Co.—and continued through Skippack with the help of the Pennsylvania State Police and local fire departments, past the location where Siller’s body was found on May 25 after she was stabbed to death, allegedly by her on-again, off-again boyfriend, former Perkiomen Valley High School student Tristan Stahley.
The ride, which included Siller’s parents, Gary and Jennifer, and her brothers, Dennis and Austin, extended to the recently-reopened Reed’s Blue Bell on Skippack Pike, where many community members were waiting to celebrate Siller’s life.
At Reed’s, Matthew Dutton of Dutt’s BBQ provided food and the Hot Sauce Junkies, Chuck Colletti and Starlite Entertainment provided entertainment, and hundreds of people donning purple celebrated the memory of a life cut tragically short.
C.J. Santangelo, a Perkiomen Township business owner who did not know Siller personally but was touched by her story, organized the event, in part to raise money to place benches in her honor along the Skippack trail where a makeshift memorial has been erected.
According to Santangelo, this ride was to honor Siller’s life, and her legacy—one that he said wasn't portrayed accurately immediately following her death.
“[Siller] met [Stahley, her alleged murderer] on social media,” Santangelo said. “He was a troubled teen—this kid was a good girl.
“We didn’t get the complete story from her family because they were so upset [at the time]. I want to let people know that this was a good kid who got murdered due to her own kind heart; she tried to help a lost soul, and she lost her life because of it.”