Told you that my two-in-a-row sreak of positive blogs would’t last long and this one could go so far the other way that I must warn you that I am going to get graphic so no children allowed for this one, okay?
If you live in Canada, you can’t go a day these days without hearing the disturbing facts surrounding the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of Victoria “Tori” Stafford, whose decomposed body was found wrapped in garbage bags and hidden under a rockpile 135 kilomteters from her home in Woostock, Ontario. Stafford went missing in February, 2009 and a suspect was charged in her disappearance four days later. Terri-Lynne McClintic, now 21, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murder in April 2010 and her partner in crime, 31 year old Michael Rafferty is on trial for kidnapping, forced confinemen, sexual assault and muder. If you don’t know the story, you are probably wondedring why I would care, as unfortunately, this kind of thing does happen and no one story is more tragic than another, right? Wrong!
Tori Stafford was eight years old! She was vibrant third grader who lived with her single mom, 33 year old Tara McDonald and older brother, Daryn. McDonald described her little girl, lovingly nicknamed Princess Chubs Chubs, having a fondness for art, dogs, lip gloss and dance movies. On a normal day in April, little Tori was leaving school when McLintic approached her asking if she wanted a ride home and on the way, they could stop and see McClintic’s Shih-tzu puppy. Tori didn’t know McClintic but the stranger knew who Tori was as the little girl’s mother and her partner, James Goris, had been to McClintic’s home to buy OxyContin from her mother, Carol..Whether little Tori was specifically targeted is uncertain but what is confirmed from McClintic’s confession is her on-again, off-again boyfriend had a dark secret; he wanted to have sex with a little girl. So after spending the day high on drugs, they cruised past a familiar elementary school and McClintic agreed to lure a target for Rafferty. Believing it was better if she could tell the target she knew her mother they watched for someone familiar and managed to run into innocent Victoria. Feeling no threat and loving puppies, Tori accepted the ride and could not have known that by nightfall, a man would attack her sexually in the backseat of his car and the woman who lured her woud kill her with a hammer purchased that afternoon at a Home Depot, along with the garbage bags used to bury her in. The couple even stopped at a drug store, with little Tori hidden under blankets and forced to keep quiet so McClintic could purchase pharmaceuticals they altered to enhance their high. There are many more details, but you get the idea.
But one last item; Rafferty has pleaded not guilty of all charges and his defence team is attempting to place the blame on Tori’s disappearance on the little girl’s mother citing her own addicition problems for her lack of responsibility in caring for the eight year old….amazing! No wonder lawyers have a bad reputation.
Seriously, I would normally leave this alone as my opinion about such a despicable crime doesn’t really matter but my sensitivity was provoked while listening to my favorite Canadian talk-radio guy, Charles Adler on Monday of ths week. Apparently, the previous Friday, Adler had one of his usual end-off-the-week guests, David Menzies who is known as “The Menzoid” and his banter is typically goofy and meant to lighten things up, but not on that show. Charles Adler has been particularly incensed by this horrific case and started an on-line petition for the Canadian Government to re-visit the death penalty as a sentence for crimes just like this one. Menzies doesn’t usually sign petitions so the discussion turned serious and then Menzies got a listener calling in to challenge his and Adlers position. The caller was Susan G. Cole who is a known and controversial figure in Toronto who among other things, wants Canada to legalize prostitution as she believes hookers are just misundersood business women…I digress. The point is, she vehemently disagreed with supporters of those calling for the ultimate price to be paid for this horrific crime against a litlle girl. Cole believes the losers responsible for planning, abducting, sexually assaulting and then using a claw hammer to murder a completely innoecent third grader are “misunderstood”. She was particularly defensive of McClintic who she says is a typical female who surrendered her “power” to yet another abusive and manipulative male and her aactions that day weren’t committed by a criminal but someone whose judgment was altered by drugs and suggestion of a man she was afraid of. So, if you could see my face right now, t has turned red!
I realize that this Cole has her right to her opinion and I normally respect people’s opinion but I am writing this to ask you two favours; first, please go to charlesadler.com and sign his petition to revisit the death penalty and please write Susan G. Cole an E-mail asking her how anyone sould defend someone as foul and criminal as these two nightmares. I know, we’re Canadian, we don’t execute people, that’s for brutal countries like the U.S. or Iraq! However, when the “Liberal” government repealed the death penalty fifty some years ago, Canada was posturing itself a “the peaceful country”. Well, times have changed. Our “peacekeeper” military has fought for democracy in Afghanistan and Libya and successive government policy changes have given more rights to animals like McClintic and Rafferty. See the disconnect?
I have always had a problem with “rights” anyway as I was taught to see privieldges that were hard fought by my family. The priviledge of going to a regular school when handicapped students were sent to their own school. The priviledge of getting a post-secondary diploma in Broadcasting so I could have the priviledge of a job. The priviledge of owning a home, owning a cottage, travelling the world….thanks so much for my life! I am far`from perfect and I really hesitate judging people I don’t know but this is the perfect time for common sense to rise above the rhetoric and start altering the status quo.
Tori Safford had nobody to stand up for her when she was brutalized by a pig and beaten with a heavy hammer to her head until she died. Time to stand up for her and right now!