Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

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Normal Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by Guest on Thu May 28, 2009 4:48 pm



The young woman charged in connection with the abduction of Victoria Stafford will now also face a first-degree murder charge.

Terri-Lynne McClintic was arrested May 19 in Woodstock, Ont., and later appeared in court to face charges of abducting the eight-year-old schoolgirl, as well as assisting Michael Thomas C. S. Rafferty, 28, to escape the area and being an accessory to murder after the fact.

On Thursday, when McClintic and Rafferty made court appearances in Woodstock via video link, the charges against her were upgraded.

McClintic, 18, now faces charges of first-degree murder and unlawful confinement.

Rafferty faces the same charges. Both have been remanded in custody.

"It's not unusual for the nature of charges to change over time as the investigation continues. So I'm not surprised by that," said Jeanine E. LeRoy, McClintic's defence lawyer.

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu May 28, 2009 4:51 pm

These people look so young to me!!! I will never understand how someone could do this!
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Post by ladyjustice37 on Thu May 28, 2009 5:42 pm

When the little one in Tracy CA came out in the news I refused to believe that women were capable of such acts - (Melissa H.) I did a little research and from what I could tell, it seems that this is out there a bit. Women, as I, refuse to believe that a woman would do something like this, and rather than a victim telling the truth, they keep it a secret.
I am amazed that women have this instinct in them. I always thought it was only men. I just do not understand this.
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Post by Guest on Thu May 28, 2009 6:08 pm

I am so thankful they atleast caught the losers that did this!

Haven't been on too much lately so forgive me if this has already been mentioned..but how were they connect to the family? Did the mom know these people?

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Post by mommyof3kids on Thu May 28, 2009 6:32 pm

Hi Butters, I am so glad that you found us over here!
Isn't this case so bizarre now that we know the mom had nothing to do with it. I never thought this would be the outcome. So strange that it turned out to be an 18 year old girl and this 28 yr old Man. :scratch:
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Post by mommyof3kids on Thu May 28, 2009 10:36 pm

Wow, I still have missed so much from this case. Could be something here with the connection between the 2. Not sure what to think anymore. I just wish they would find the poor babies body soon,not only to lay her to rest, but so they have a better chance of what happend to her.
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Post by Guest on Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:31 am

Thnx for the link to the article, t2. It is just heartbreaking to think of people out shopping for a child to exploit and kill. Poor Tori...only blocks and minutes away from family. Why did she go with Terri-Lynn, anyhow. She seemed to simply walk along trustingly with her. I still think she must have known her somehow. So sad...
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Post by charminglane on Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:43 pm

If Tara was looking to breed her dog, shouldn't she have picked it up at the pound/vet after a month? This "dog breeding" excuse could be where Terri-Lynn met Tori, with her mother.
Could Terri-Lynn have set up Daryn walking the disabled child home?
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Post by Juanita on Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:32 pm

thanks for this, im still trying to catch up on the news. im really glad they have someone in custody. her face really resembles the sketch too.

i think she knows more than shes saying, and i dont think she walked away. its just uncharacteristic for what this appears to be. she is suposedly doing this to give her boyfriend something, why would she? either she is under his control or she wants to please him. in either case, i dont think she would quickly rat out her boyfriend. she would more likely take the heat for him if thats the case.

unfortunately that leaves me to conclude that shes the perpetrator. shes the one orchestrating it, and possibly he is under her control. its possible.

this year (or is it me?) has been crazy for child crimes committed by women. ive never ever seen such a thing. this year will go down in history i believe. its turning all police theories and profiling upside down. women perpetrators. i think we will see more women on death row too. if that makes kids safer, so be it.
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Post by TerryRose on Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:40 pm

Juanita states "this year (or is it me?) has been crazy for child crimes committed by women. ive never ever seen such a thing. this year will go down in history i believe. its turning all police theories and profiling upside down. women perpetrators. i think we will see more women on death row too. if that makes kids safer, so be it."
I totally agree with what you have said---it defies reason. I think we all want to say what is going on?---Is it something in the water?
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Post by Guest on Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:45 pm

I wonder if its something in the water... Or maybe some new kind of hormone they put in birth control or something making woman lose thier damn minds!!
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Post by Guest on Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:12 am

I hope LE is still looking for Tori's body.Didn't TM say she was under a pile of rocks in a field? All landowners in the area should take a look at their own land.
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Post by Lexi on Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:56 am

(I posted this over at WS a while back)

Releasing information to the public so that they may assist in the search

---------------------------------------------------------------------
The search for Tori reminded me of an Ohio murder of two children. Their father killed and buried them during a custody dispute. Once he was arrested, he tried but failed to lead LE to their bodies, and later killed himself in jail before they were recovered.

He did, however, leave enough clues that LE finally released to the public and eventually an amateur sleuther found their remains. If the OPP exhaust their search for Tori, I hope that they release some of TLM's information about where Tori was disposed of so that we can help recover her. Here's the story about the Ohio case:

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December 19, 2005 Vol. 64 No. 25 Miracle in the WoodsBy Bob Meadows
Moved by a Stranger's Plea for Help, Stephanie Dietrich Spent Five Months Scouring Ohio's Forests for Two Murdered Children—Until She Found Their BodiesFor five months Stephanie Dietrich crisscrossed northeast Ohio's wooded areas in her red Dodge Intrepid, searching for the bodies of two missing children she had never met. "All summer long I had four shovels, a pickax, work gloves, mud boots and a flashlight in the car with me," says Dietrich, 44, an Akron mother of two. Coworkers, she admits, thought she "was nuts." Friends were "concerned I was getting too obsessed." Her husband, Bob, she says, "tried to get me to stop."

But she would not, and her obsession—and detective skills—finally paid off. On Dec. 1 she discovered the remains of Sarah and Philip Gehring, siblings from Hillsborough, N.H., who had been missing since July 4, 2003, when their father, Manuel Gehring, shot and killed them. Before he committed suicide in prison, Gehring had given authorities frustratingly vague clues to their resting place, saying he buried them somewhere along a 700-mile stretch of Interstate 80. Several law enforcement agencies, the children's mother, Teri Knight, and many volunteers spent countless hours searching in vain. "It's a miracle anyone found it," Jefferey Strelzin, New Hampshire senior assistant attorney general, told the Akron Beacon Journal.

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Post by Guest on Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:32 am

unleashthelawyers wrote:I have lost touch with this story lately. Can someone tell me why they have not been able to find her body? Did the woman accomplice decide not to lead authorities to the body?

Good question. If there was a confession why have they not been told where to find her?
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Post by Lexi on Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:27 am

lindamarie wrote:
unleashthelawyers wrote:I have lost touch with this story lately. Can someone tell me why they have not been able to find her body? Did the woman accomplice decide not to lead authorities to the body?

Good question. If there was a confession why have they not been told where to find her?

Terri-Lynne (TLM), who confessed to police, tried to lead police to Tori's body. (They went by helicopter and car over several days). The police said that because it is farmland that all looks similar with few landmarks, it was hard for her to find it. Also, Tori was apparently killed on April 8th and the search started one month later when the folliage was almost in full bloom. She was also dumped at night, which made it difficult for TLM to identify the spot (s).

TLM was arrested on unrelated charges on April 12th and has been held in custody ever since. There is a theory that M. Rafferty may have moved Tori's body while TLM was in jail. (TLM apparently was angry with Rafferty because she found out that he was with another woman while in custody, so he may have feared that she'd get back at him by confessing).

ETA: Police have said that Tori's remains may not be 'recoverable', and some are speculating that they have forensic evidence to prove that she's dead, but the remains may not be intact :(

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Post by Guest on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:30 pm

Janie thank you so much for updating us with this information. My heart just sank when I read the remains are probably her's. We need a top news category for only members to post news like this don't you think?
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Post by Nama on Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:04 am

Her story did more than captivate and sadden a nation.

It changed the rules that protect the young, turned the image of a friendly city upside down, made parents everywhere take stock of their children's safety and created an insatiable and bloated creature the Internet.

When Tori went missing April 8 after leaving school, neither police nor media paid a great deal of attention.

The media were not notified about her disappearance until the next morning. Police decided not to issue an Amber Alert, insisting for several days the case was not one of abduction.

But a media frenzy began to grow in Woodstock after police released a surveillance video of Tori walking away with a mystery woman after school and Tori's mother, Tara McDonald, began holding daily news conferences on her front lawn.

Those news conferences -- at times combative, emotional, and bizarre -- kept the story alive but also kept McDonald and her ex-husband Rodney Stafford under the public microscope.

McDonald's acknowledgement she abused painkillers and her tale of a mysterious limousine ride from an anonymous benefactor only fueled the suspicions of many, especially hundreds of amateur sleuths online, that she was involved.

The OPP, taking over what many considered a bungled local investigation, joined reporters in taping McDonald's news conferences.

Meanwhile, vigils and searches spread across Canada, as child protection experts offered advice to worried parents and Woodstock residents mourned the death of their city's image.

When two people were charged May 20 with abducting and murdering Tori, the fears of millions were realized. Tori's body was found July 19.

The story -- in print, in video and in photo galleries -- drew more readers than any other issue of the year.

Tori's father Rodney Stafford raised more than $50,000 for Child Find by cycling to Edmonton in her honour.

In the fall, the province announced changes to the Amber Alert system.

The separate prosecutions of the two accused -- Terri-Lynne McClintic and Michael Thomas Rafferty -- already has Ontario residents on guard for the kind of "deal with the devil" the province gave Karla Homolka for testifying against her husband Paul Bernardo.

Online, armchair detectives continue to debate the case and a recently published book on the social media feeding frenzy sparked controversy.

The story will no doubt continue to resonate in 2010, as the accused move through the legal system, watched closely by a grieving family and an still angry and curious nation.

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Post by Nama on Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:08 am

Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18, now stands accused of abducting little Tori Stafford and helping Tori's accused killer, her boyfriend Michael Thomas C.S. Rafferty, 28, evade police since the 8-year old went missing April 8, 2009. Micheal Thomas Rafferty has been charged with abduction and first degree murder in the Tori Stafford case. Terri-Lynne McClintic has been charged with abduction and accessory to murder after the fact.

According to Terri-Lynne McClintic's named father Rod McClintic, Terri-Lynne has a questionable maternal history that may have played a role in her willingness to participate in Tori Stafford's abduction and cover up her murder. Rod McClintic is stunned over Terri-Lynne's seemingly callous nature.

Rod McClintic contacted local media when the news broke that the 18-year old girl he still pays child support for was arrested in the abduction and murder of Tori Stafford. Rod McClintic was born and raised in the small town of Woodstock, Ontario, and although he no longer lives there he still feels connected to the community.

When the news broke that Tori Stafford was missing Rod McClintic immediately was drawn to the story about the little girl from his hometown. He never imagined that Terri-Lynne McClintic, the child who carries his name and who he had supported as his own even though he is not her biological father, would be implicated in the horrific crime.

Rod McClintic was married to Terri-Lynne's mother Carol McClintic, who still uses his last name despite the fact that they have been divorced for over a decade. In fact, Rod McClintic says he has not heard from Carol or Terri-Lynne in nearly 12 years even though he pays regular child support.

In what reads like a soap opera plot, Rod McClintic agreed to put his name on the birth certificate of a child that he knew was not his in order to circumvent adoption laws and claim the child as his own. A friend of Carol McClintic, then his wife, had become pregnant by an unknown man and did not want to keep the child. Carol McClinitic wanted the child to raise and the birth certificate fraud seemed the easiest way to make it happen. That child was Terri-Lynne McClintic.

Now Terri-Lynne McClintic stands accused of facilitating the abduction and hiding the subsequent murder of 8-year old Tori Stafford and Rod McClintic has been dragged into the nightmare on a very personal level.

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Post by Nama on Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:13 am



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Post by Nama on Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:16 am

A preliminary hearing in the Michael Rafferty case could begin in the early summer next year.

Rafferty, charged with abduction and first-degree murder, made a brief video appearance in court Friday morning.

His next video appearance is set for Feb. 17, 2010.

Crown attorney Brian Crockett said a preliminary hearing is scheduled for between June 21 and July 13, 2010.

Rafferty, 28, and Terri-Lynne McClintic, 19, were charged in connection with the disappearance of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford in April.

February's appearance is for a focus hearing, where the Crown and defence are to discuss legal issues in advance of the preliminary hearing.

After Friday's appearance, where Rafferty was remanded in custody at the Chatham Jail, a lawyer representing him said he was prepared to go to trial.

"Mr. Rafferty is prepared to plead not guilty," said Laura Giordano of the Toronto-based firm Derstine Penman.

"He will be going to trial."

Giordano asked the public to keep an open mind about the case.

"I would ask the public to be patient. This will all come out at trial," she said.

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Post by Nama on Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:17 am

Mr. Rafferty's co-accused, Terri-Lynne McClintic, waived her right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday, meaning she will go straight to trial.

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Normal Moved from another thread

Post by Nama on Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:46 pm

by NiteSpinR on Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:24 am

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Michael Rafferty moved to Chatham jail, charged with abducting and killing Tori Stafford
Posted by Editorial on Oct 16th, 2009
By Aaron Hall – Daily Post Editor

The man accused and charged with the abduction and killing of 8-year-old Woodstock girl Victoria Stafford has been shipped to the Chatham jail.
Michael Thomas Rafferty appeared in Woodstock court this morning (Oct. 16) through a video link from the Chatham jail.
Various media sources, including the London Free Press and Blackburn Radio, have cited a report by the Canadian Press.
Reports indicate that the reason for why Rafferty was shipped to Chatham was not disclosed.
Rafferty had been spending time in the London jail, reports indicate.

Rafferty protest set for Saturday; Chatham woman wants justice for Tori Stafford
Posted by Editorial on Oct 19th, 2009

In light of the recent move of Michael Rafferty, one of two accused in the abduction and murder of Woodstock girl Tori Stafford, to the Chatham jail, a local mother-of-three wants some justice for the eight-year-old girl.

“We want to show that communities care and we will do everything we can to make sure justice is served properly,” Bobbie Jean Brophy of Chatham told the Chatham-Kent Daily Post.

Brophy said that once a member on the Facebook group Michael Rafferty is Moved to Chatham Jail!, known as Cherished Treasure, decided to set a time for the protest (Saturday, Oct. 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.), she wanted to do what she could to spread the word as well.

“We are outraged because Michael Rafferty was given a choice… he never gave Victoria a choice,” Brophy said. “Rafferty does not in any way deserve a choice. He deserves the basics that he is allowed and nothing more. No ’special treatment’, no extra telephone time, no extra or extended visits.

Brophy said she has been following the case ever since Tori disappeared after a day at her Woodstock school on April 8. She said she has even gotten to become friends with Tori’s mother, Tara McDonald – who Brophy said is hoping to attend Saturday’s protest.

“A number of people have said they would give Tara a ride from Woodstock… so she is hoping to come,” Brophy said.

Brophy said her and her boy friend and her three children made trips to Woodstock and London for a couple of the balloon releases and candle lightings held in honour of Tori, whose body was discovered in a rural area near Mount Forest on July 19.

The Chatham protest is being organized as a “peaceful, non-violent, quiet demonstration.

“We have absolutely no problem with the Chatham jail. They are just doing their job. We think that it is wrong that it appears that (Rafferty) is being given special privileges,” she said.

Brophy said the group is encouraging people to come out and bring their own signs “and show their support,” she said.

The protest is scheduled for Saturday, October 24 at the Chatham jail, which is located at 17 Seventh St. in Chatham, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Facebook group, where this idea for the protest originated, has swelled now to just short of 1,000 members as of 4 p.m. on Monday (Oct. 19).

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Normal Michael Rafferty remanded after hearing in Stafford murder case

Post by Nama on Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:44 pm

2 17 2010
A man accused in the abduction and slaying of Woodstock schoolgirl Tori Stafford appeared by video while lawyers discussed legal issues at a closed hearing today.
Michael Rafferty, 29, was remanded in custody until April 23.

The Crown and defence discussed legal issues involving Rafferty in advance of a preliminary hearing.
Late last year, Crown attorney Brian Crockett said a preliminary hearing will be scheduled between June 21 and July 13.

Rafferty's co-accused, 19-year-old Terri-Lynn McClintic, has waived her right to a preliminary hearing. McClintic will go directly to trial once dates are set at a court appearance in March.
Both suspects are charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of eight-year-old Tori.

The girl disappeared from outside her Woodstock school last April and her remains were found in July north of Guelph, Ont.

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Normal Tori's parents want answers

Post by Nama on Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:04 pm

Tara McDonald and Rodney Stafford are ready to hear some answers.

The parents of Victoria Stafford said Friday morning they want the trials of the two people charged with their daughter's murder to start soon.

After a brief court proceeding concerning Terri-Lynne McClintic, the woman accused of the murder, Victoria's parents talked about the agonizing wait for the two trials.

"It's to the point that we're both ready for it, I think," Rodney Stafford said. It's important to find out a little bit of what is going on," he said.
"It's almost a year later and we still don't know anything more than we knew, what, 29 days after she disappeared."

McClintic, 19, was not present Friday and was represented in Superior Court by her lawyer, Jeanine LeRoy.

McClintic is charged with the confinement and the first-degree murder of Victoria 'Tori" Stafford, 8.

The girl disappeared on April 8 last year while walking home after school, sparking a massive ground and air search. McClintic and her former boyfriend Michael Rafferty were both charged with first-degree murder in May.

LeRoy and assistant Crown attorney Geoff Beasley agreed to have the case adjourned to April 16 at 9:30 a.m.

McDonald, speaking for the first time publicly since her daughter's remains were found last July, said she came to court for the first time Friday to get a feel for what the process will be like.

"It's more trying to prepare ourselves for what is ahead of us," she said. "We want to get use to the courtroom setting, having to see them in person or by video camera."

McDonald said her decision to get out of the public eye was made to protect the couple's son Daryn.

McDonald said she is unsure if the trials will happen in Woodstock.

"This is where it happened, and I think they would have a hard time finding an unbiased jury here," she said.

Rodney Stafford, on the other hand, is hopeful the trials will be at the Oxford County courthouse.

"Tori was taken from Woodstock. It should happen in Woodstock. Woodstock people need to know," he said.

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Normal Case of woman charged in Tori Stafford slaying put over to Apr. 16

Post by Nama on Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:05 pm

The mother of slain eight-year-old schoolgirl Tori Stafford attended a court hearing for one of the alleged killers for the first time Friday.
Tara McDonald was in court in Woodstock, Ont., as the case of Terri-Lynne McClintic, 19, was put over to April 16.
"This is my first time coming to court," said McDonald.
"I just have decided that it's time to start coming and preparing ourselves for the trials ahead."
McDonald said she didn't know beforehand whether McClintic would be in court but it turned out McClintic was represented by her lawyer.
She earlier waived her right to a preliminary hearing to allow the case to go directly to trial.
A judicial pretrial, a private meeting between the Crown, defence and the judge, will be held before McClintic's next court appearance.
Tori's father, Rodney Stafford, said it's now time to follow the court proceedings more closely.
"It's to the point where we're both ready for it, I think," he said of the coming trials.
"It's important to find out a little bit of what's going on. We're still in the blue."
McClintic's co-accused, Michael Rafferty, appeared in court last month via video and was ordered remanded in custody until April 23.
Both are charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of the girl.
Tori disappeared from outside her Woodstock school last April and her remains were found in July north of Guelph, Ont.

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Normal Michael Rafferty, will appear in court April 23rd.

Post by Nama on Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:06 pm

Michael Rafferty, will appear in court April 23rd.

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Normal Year later, still no answer why Tori Stafford abducted, slain

Post by Nama on Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:25 am

April 9

It is one year to the day since eight-year-old Tori Stafford vanished from the small southwestern Ontario city of Woodstock, forever changing the lives of her parents and the people of Woodstock.

Nearly 100 police officers, from all over the province, along with the girl's family searched for any clues into her mysterious disappearance, holding out hope, with the rest of the nation, that the happy, blond-haired third-grader would eventually be found alive.

Those hopes ended three months later on July 21, when investigators confirmed that remains found by a detective in a secluded field near Mount Forest, Ont., were "positively identified" as Tori's.

Two Woodstock residents —Terri-Lynne McClintic and Michael Rafferty — have since been charged with first-degree murder in the girl's death. The relationship between the accused and Tori, if one exists, has not been established.

Their criminal trials have yet to begin.

To Tori's family, the last year, beginning with her disappearance on April 8, 2009, has been a lifetime.

"It's hard to explain," said Tori's father, Rodney Stafford, his voice breaking. "Some days it feels like she disappeared just yesterday. Some days, it feels like it was forever ago."

He said one issue is that no one, not even the family, understands why Tori was snatched on her way home after school that day.

No one knows why surveillance video showed the trusting girl walk away hand-in-hand with an unknown woman.

Nor are there answers about why she was killed, or how little Tori ended up in that field, nearly 130 kilometres away from home.

"It is still hard, still really hard. We still don't have any answers to anything. Everybody has been really frustrated by it," said Stafford. "We've come to terms about what has happened, that there was nothing we could done about it."

This search for an explanation about his daughter's death has since pushed Stafford into becoming an unlikely advocate for missing children. Last August, he embarked on a solo 3,400-kilometre bicycle trip from Woodstock to Edmonton, raising $2,000 for Child Find Ontario in her memory.

"Honestly no, up until just before Victoria disappeared, I never thought I'd be doing charity work but I've changed my life," he said. "I've turned things around and it's been good."

During their daughter's disappearance, Stafford and his estranged wife, Tara McDonald, made numerous pleas for the return of their daughter during the three months that Tori was missing, as her photo was splashed across the front pages of newspapers and on televisions almost daily.

At times, the tension between the couple overshadowed the search for the girl, as the two blamed each other and publicly fought over Tori's disappearance.

Stafford said the couple have been trying to put their differences aside, for the sake of Tori's older brother, Daryn.

"I think he is doing really good. There is still a lot of stuff on the inside of him that I want to crack," he said. "I want to give him a little bit of time. Things will come out."

Daryn, 11, had blamed himself for his sister's disappearance. Stafford said he and his son will be doing a joint charity bike ride for Tori this year, in hopes that it will help with some of the boy's guilt.

The two will begin their 55-day journey on Father's Day in Edmonton and return to Woodstock in early August.

Meanwhile, McDonald has kept a low-profile in the wake of her daughter's body being discovered, a sharp contrast to her daily news conferences while the girl was missing.

Her cousin, Barb Derbowka, said McDonald has been focusing on her family.

Stafford said it is clear that the couple will stand united amid rumours that a plea bargain may be in the works for one of the co-accused. He said this was "not an option" and both will fight if it does become one.

McClintic's next court appearance has been scheduled for April 16. Rafferty will appear in a Woodstock courtroom again on April 23.

Tori's death has also brought about changes to the provincewide Amber Alert system, used to notify the public when a child is missing. In this case, police officials were heavily criticized for not sending an alert because, at the time, they felt that Tori's disappearance did not fit the system's criteria. Police did not have a description of a vehicle, or a knowledge of an abductor, or any indication that the girl was in danger of serious bodily harm.

Last October, these guidelines were relaxed so police could issue an alert more quickly if it is believed the child is in any kind of danger.

Woodstock Mayor Michael Harding said although no public memorial was planned Thursday for Tori, it is without a doubt that her disappearance and murder has forever changed the city of 35,000, west of Toronto.

"We've been made brutally aware, the importance of safety for our children," he said. "That will remain the overwhelming message for our people. We have learned to live with this event, and have worked through the many painful issues as a city."

Harding said he is looking at other small communities that have been able to move past horrific crimes, specifically St. Catharines, Ont., where serial killer Paul Bernardo lived.

"St. Catharines survived. We will survive this," he said. "But the name Tori Stafford will always come up in this city."

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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by Nama on Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:12 am

The case of one of the two people accused of kidnapping and killing Tori Stafford has been put over to April 30th.

Terri Lynn McClintic is charged with abduction and first degree murder in the death of the 8 year old Woodstock girl.

Her case was adjourned to the end of the month this morning.

She has waived her right to a preliminary trial.

Her mother, Tara McDonald is getting frustrated by the amount of time its taking for McClintic to get to trial.

Co-accused, Michael Rafferty, will make his next court appearance next Friday.

Last week marked the one year anniversary since the 8 year old Woodstock girl was abducted while walking home from school.

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Normal City respects Tori ban

Post by Nama on Thu May 27, 2010 3:34 am

Grade 11 student Teale Poirier can walk from her family’s stately home to the courthouse in a matter of seconds.

From her verandah, she can see the towers of TV satellite trucks that park outside the courthouse when a big case comes up.

On April 30, the Woodstock Collegiate Institute student and some of her classmates noticed those trucks and wandered over.

Poirier stayed outside and talked to some reporters. The woman accused of killing eight-year-old Victoria ‘Tori’ Stafford last year was to appear in court, she learned. Some of her classmates went inside and watched what happened.

So, did word spread through the school the next day?

Is everyone talking about it?

Did they Facebook, Twitter, MSN, Youtube, text any of it?

“Not really,” Poirier says. “We really didn’t have much to say.” Really? a reporter asks. Why?

“If my family was in that situation, I would hope my privacy would be important. I would hope there is respect for my family. It’s really not my business.”

The media has clamoured for the release of more information about that April 30 hearing.

The Woodstock courthouse was described by a Toronto columnist as a “blackhole,” with reporters astounded at the Byzantine restrictions on what they can say, but the people of Woodstock seem to be calm and quiet about the matter.

So, remarkably, is the Internet. In 1993, with the Internet still in its infancy, the publication ban on the trial of sexual killer Paul Bernardo was broken repeatedly online. After Tori’s disappearance, Facebook pages and social media sites exploded with rumours and debate. Yet, now online, nothing.

“It is astonishing,” says Tim Blackmore, a professor at University of Western Ontario’s faculty of information and media studies who tracks the Internet’s worst excesses.

“At the moment, the wall is holding. All it will take is one leak and it will fall. But for now . . . I think this is a situation because a small child was murdered. . . that is taboo. Across that taboo, people are not willing to cross because it is so harmful to the parents and it is a way of respecting Tori.”

Tori was abducted in April 2009 while walking home from school in Woodstock. For weeks, police hunted for her abductors and Tori herself. National media descended on the city of 36,000. Two people, Terri-Lynne McClintic, 19, and Michael Rafferty, 28, were charged last May with abduction and murder in her disappearance.

Tori’s body was found in July in a wooded area near Mount Forest. McClintic was scheduled to appear in court April 30. Dozens of reporters and family members attended that hearing.

But Justice Dougald McDermid placed a publication ban on the hearing, preventing mainstream media from releasing any details except that McClintic was scheduled to appear.

After two days of legal arguments last week, witnessed again by a heavy media presence, the ban was extended until the Supreme Court of Canada weighs in. Journalists and media lawyers argue the ban impairs the public’s right to know and will only feed speculation about what happened.

For sure, on some streets of Woodstock, rumours about the murder still find fertile ground.

At the townhouse complex where Tori had lived for a year with her mother and step-father until a few months before her death, some residents still swap rumours about drug dealers and bikers being involved in the case.

“We all have our own opinions of what happened,” says Kim Clarke, president of Trillium Place Co-op, taking a break from painting her front porch.

Yet, even here, residents are not pushing for the information from court to be released.

“We are all just waiting, sitting back, to see.”

Residents here are in no hurry to re-visit, en masse, the horror of last April, Clarke says.

“Tori was very well known to all the kids. The kids here are finally getting over it. It was a terrible thing. We are all just starting to calm down.”

The case horrified the entire city, says Mayor Michael Harding.

“I think the people who have been through this want to make sure the justice system works for Tori and her family. I think many people know through word of mouth what happened, but they are keeping it to themselves.”

Besides, Woodstock’s a city where people might readily talk to neighbours and friends, but not so quickly to outsiders, says Rev. David Duncan of College Avenue Church.

“People keep things close to their chest.”

Duncan speaks with quiet pride about the way his congregation has responded to the tragedy. Tori and brother Daryn went to that church regularly with their grandmother, but the rest of the family were not members.

On Palm Sunday, the congregation invited Tori’s family to a service where a memorial to the girl — a figurine of Jesus with two children — was unveiled.

“I am very proud of how our church has reached out to the family, yet given them space, too.” Nearby the church, on Frances St., neighbours remember reporters, photographers, camera operators and satellite trucks crowding the family home, where Tori lived for only a short time.

Did you know? asks neigbhour Kevin, that Google’s streetview captured the last day of of the frenzy, with the trucks and a few reporters now seen forever on the street.

“I had reporters asking me all kinds of questions,” said Kevin, asking that only his first name be used.

Even in the midst of the frenzy, people on the street said little about the family, Kevin remembers.

“Woodstock is pretty respectful of other people’s privacy.”

He’s heard about the publication ban and has no problem with it. The lawyers and judges must know what they’re doing, and no one wants the trials derailed, Kevin says.

“There are potential jurors out there who don’t want to know the details. Everybody wants justice.”

True, but doesn’t he want to find out what happened? Why didn’t he just walk over to court and watch? Why doesn’t he ask someone who did? Why doesn’t everybody in Woodstock? Why are the people

in Woodstock who do know not spreading it over the Internet?

“In my opinion,” Kevin says, “that would almost be in bad taste because of the parents.”

Besides, Kevin says, what really needs to be known?

“I know Victoria’s final hours were terrible, no matter what the circumstances. I don’t need the details.”

Perhaps sorrow, more than anything else, is keeping a lid on what happened in court April 30.

Even in the townhouse co-op where rumours about the case continue to spread from porch to porch, there is a feeling not all needs to be known. Ever.

“I don’t think I want to know,” says Clarke. “I knew Tori. I looked her in the face. I talked to her. I could do without knowing everything.”

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Normal Rafferty will face a preliminary hearing beginning June 21st

Post by Nama on Thu May 27, 2010 3:36 am

Today meanwhile marks a somber anniversary in the case: It was one year ago that police had made two arrests: Michael Rafferty charged with murder and abduction; Terri-Lynn McClintic as an accessory, all but confirming the worst - Tori was gone. Tori's family has already expressed their frustration with the length of time the proceedings have taken. McClintic has since had her charges upgraded to murder, however the details of her case have been swept up in a publication ban imposed in April. Rafferty - who's been moved from a London jail to Chatham - will face a preliminary hearing beginning June 21st.

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Normal Michael Rafferty will be sent straight to trial without having a preliminary inquiry.

Post by Nama on Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:46 pm

A Woodstock, Ont., man charged in the high-profile slaying of eight-year-old Tori Stafford last year will be sent straight to trial without having a preliminary inquiry.

Michael Rafferty’s defence counsel, Dirk Derstine, and a spokesman for Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney-General confirmed today that the accused man’s preliminary inquiry will not go ahead later this month as scheduled.

Mr. Derstine said that he and his client are extremely disappointed that the ministry opted to short-circuit a procedure that can save unnecessary trial manoeuvring and enables the defence to determine whether witnesses give consistent testimony in a case.

Tori went missing outside her Woodstock, Ont., school. After a massive search, two persons, Terri-Lynne McClintic, 19, and Mr. Rafferty were charged with her abduction and murder.

The child’s body was discovered months later.

Judge McDermid permitted the media to publish only one sentence: “As we previously reported, Terri-Lynne McClintic was scheduled to appear on April 30, 2010, in the Superior Court of Justice at Woodstock but because of a temporary publication ban, we are prohibited by court order from providing any further information until further order of the court.”

Mr. Derstine said that Mr. Rafferty's preliminary hearing, scheduled for June 21, was expected to last about four weeks. He said that the Crown’s decision to prefer an indictment saves very little time, meaning that it must be based on a trial strategy that is yet to become evident.

Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for the ministry, said that direct indictments can be used in cases "where there are compelling circumstances that require, in the interests of justice, that the matter be brought to trial as soon as possible.

"Direct Indictments are only used where Crown counsel have concluded that there is a reasonable prospect of conviction and that the continuation of the prosecution is not contrary to the public interest, and where disclosure has been made to the defence," he said.

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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by Nama on Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:24 am

I can find NO updates on this case.

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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by raine1953 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:14 am

(BJ - I found this, dated 6.10.2010)

LONDON, Ont. - The province has decided to fast-track the trial of the man charged with murdering Tori Stafford, taking the rare step of quashing his preliminary hearing.

But the lawyer for Michael Rafferty said the decision will only limit his client's rights, not speed up the process.

He also suggested the public will see the move as a way to protect co-accused Terri-Lynne McClintic, expected to testify against Rafferty.

"It is not going to speed things up. At the most, maybe a month," lawyer Dirk Derstine said. "I am disappointed. I don't want to see my client being railroaded for the sake of expediency."

Rafferty, 29, is charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder in the April 8, 2009, disappearance of the eight-year-old girl.

His preliminary hearing was set to begin June 21 in Woodstock and last about three weeks.

But Ontario's deputy attorney general, Murray Segal, signed a direct indictment Tuesday that means Rafferty will go straight to trial.

"Direct indictments can be used in cases where there are compelling circumstances that require, in the interests of justice, that the matter be brought to trial as soon as possible," said the ministry's Brendan Crawley.

A date for Rafferty to appear before the Superior Court of Justice will be set soon, he said.

At that point, discussions about trial dates would begin.

The trial is expected to take place next year.

Crawley stressed he could not discuss this case and did not elaborate on the "compelling circumstances" that led to the province's decision.

Federal Justice Department guidelines allow direct indictments in high-profile cases and "where the age, health or other circumstances relating to witnesses requires their evidence to be presented before the trial court as soon as possible."

The decision means McClintic, 20, would not have to testify against Rafferty in the preliminary hearing.

"I am very sure she will be much relieved," her lawyer Jeanine LeRoy said. "Cross-examination will be gruelling in this case."

McClintic has waived her right to a preliminary trial and was last scheduled to appear in court April 30.

A publication ban on the proceedings of that date remains in place.

"I just wonder if the public perception will be she is being helped out," Derstine said of McClintic.

"It will now be easier for her."

Preliminary hearings are the norm in Canada and allow a judge to decide if there is enough evidence to go to trial.

"I think a preliminary hearing is useful for ferreting out the truth," Derstine said.

The hearings also give defence lawyers a chance to assess the Crown's case and lay the groundwork for a counter attack, Syd Usprich, a University of Western Ontario law professor, said.

"It is a useful tool for the defence," he said. "It gives the defence a preliminary bite of the apple."

Defence lawyers can compare witnesses' testimony in the preliminary hearing and trial to expose holes and contradictions, Usprich noted.

Direct indictments "are not used very often," he said.

The news came as a relief Wednesday to Rodney Stafford, Tori's father.

He's planning to leave on a fundraising bicycle ride with son Daryn in early June and was torn between that effort and wanting to be at the preliminary hearing.

"That's a lot of stress off me and Daryn. We can just focus on the bike ride."


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Father and son plan to ride from Alberta to Woodstock to raise money for ChildFind.

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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by raine1953 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:20 am

I hope I uploaded the photo correctly, this is the first time I was able to do it!
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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by Nama on Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:29 am

Thanks for the update, Raine.

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Normal Venue Change Requested for Stafford Murder Trial/ hearing will begin February 2nd

Post by Nama on Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:48 pm

2010/10/15 The lawyer representing the man charged in the abduction and murder of Victoria (Tori) Stafford of Woodstock is looking to have his trial moved outside of Oxford County. Intentions to do so were presented in court today in Woodstock. However, the Crown attorney says the prosecution believes the trial should indeed take place in Oxford. A three-day hearing will begin February 2nd on the change of venue application. Meanwhile, a one-day pre-trial hearing for Rafferty is scheduled for November 8th. McClintic's case is currently under a publication ban.

Rafferty and Terri-Lynn McClintic were arrested in May 2009 and charged in the abduction of the 8 year-old. Tori went missing after school last April; her remains were found months later in a field near Guelph.

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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:09 pm

WOODSTOCK, Ont. - A controversial publication ban that shrouded the case of slain eight-year-old Tori Stafford in secrecy was lifted Thursday to reveal that earlier this year Terri-Lynne McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the girl's death.

The plea, the haunting details of Tori's disappearance and the painful victim impact statements delivered by Tori's family had been under a much-publicized, sweeping publication ban for more than seven months.

The Supreme Court of Canada declined Thursday to hear an appeal of a decision to lift the ban, and the heartbreaking story of how the Grade 3 student went missing outside her Woodstock, Ont., school can now be told.

Police never released Tori's cause of death, but it was revealed in court that she died of multiple blunt force impacts.

McClintic also admitted she went to a Home Depot that day and purchased a hammer and garbage bags.

After McClintic pleaded guilty April 30 and court heard victim impact statements from Tori's family — during which time her lawyer brought her a bucket as she was clutching her stomach, appearing to be in some distress — McClintic read a statement of her own.

"I didn't wake up that morning thinking I would take a child," McClintic said.

"I can't explain my thought process that day... Every day I ask myself, `Why? Why did I tell myself that everything would be OK?' "

McClintic said she was "dealt pretty low cards" in life and had been dealing with issues and problems she didn't specify, and that she resorted to drugs.

Her boyfriend, Michael Rafferty, now 30, was charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder. His case has been committed to trial.

Clad in a black pantsuit and with her hair in a bun, McClintic read her statement in a meek, but hurried manner in front of the courtroom packed with Tori's family, McClintic's family, police officers and dozens of reporters.

McClintic's words took on a bizarre and sinister turn as she talked about what an impression Tori made on her in the brief time they spent together and a bond they formed.

"I am honoured to have been able to spend even a brief amount of time with such an amazing person, and it pains me to think about how many people won't get to see what a beautiful and brilliant woman I just know she would have grown up to be," McClintic said.

"Tori will never leave my heart. She'll hold my heart in her hands until the day I die."

It appears that a horrible confluence of events led McClintic to Tori as her victim, and the innocent child's only mistake was trusting that the woman just wanted to show her a puppy.

Victoria went missing on April 8, 2009 and her remains would not be found for more than three months.

Tori and her then 10-year-old brother Daryn were living with their maternal grandmother at the time, but Tori was to stay at her mom Tara McDonald's new house close to their school on the night of April 8.

Daryn always walked Tori home that school year to their grandmother's house, but that day Tori was to make the short trip to her mother's house by herself.

She lined up with her classmates for dismissal at the end of the school day, but ran back inside because she forgot her butterfly earrings. Those earrings would later be used to help identify her badly decomposed remains.

Meanwhile, McClintic had spent the day picking up food stamps at a church, buying some groceries, picking up some Oxycontin and submitting her resume at an employment centre. She also tried to check her MSN account on the computer there but forgot her password.

Later that day, as McClintic approached Oliver Stephens Public School, Tori happened to be the first child she saw.

Tori's brother Daryn, now 12, is suffering enormous guilt for not walking his sister home, their father Rodney Stafford said in a victim impact statement. In his statement to the court, read by his father, Daryn said Tori was the most important part of his world.

"She was the closest person to me. Me and Tori could barely be apart for a weekend, let alone a lifetime," he wrote.

"Knowing that I'll never get the chance to see her again makes me sad."

McClintic told Tori she had a shih tzu named Precious, and Tori replied that she too had a shih tzu and agreed she would like to see McClintic's dog.

The trusting, happy little girl told McClintic that her name was Victoria, but everyone called her Tori. The two began to walk away from the school, as now infamously seen on grainy surveillance video, and with that Tori vanished.

Soon people across the country would know Victoria's name, and that she liked to go by Tori, because pictures of her smiling face accompanied news stories about the frantic search.

After Tori's disappearance many people, including Tori's family, pored over that surveillance video, trying to guess at the identity of the woman. Members of the community suggested it was Tori's own mother, even though she did not fit the height and weight description.

Police were almost immediately flooded with tips about the identity of the mystery woman, and a few of those early tips suggested it was McClintic, who was 18 years old at the time.

Investigators soon discovered McClintic was wanted on an outstanding warrant for a minor offence, so they arrested her on April 12 — the same day thousands of community members attended a candlelight vigil praying for Tori's safe return.

In interviews with police McClintic initially denied involvement, but eventually admitted responsibility and provided them with several hours of statements.

She was charged on May 19, 2009 with kidnapping and accessory to murder, which was later upgraded to first-degree murder. The Crown dropped the kidnapping charge, which is not unusual when someone pleads guilty to a more serious charge such as first-degree murder.

Before McClintic was sentenced on April 30 Tori's family members were given the opportunity to make victim impact statements.

Victoria's father, Rodney Stafford, sat in the witness box, faced McClintic and said he feels a hatred toward her like he has never felt before. Then he uttered astonishing words coming from the father of an eight-year-old murder victim.

"As hard as this is for me, I do have to say thank you to you… it has been said that without you we may never have found Victoria," he said. After her arrest McClintic tried to help the police locate Tori's remains.

"Maybe one day I can learn to forgive you, but for now excuse me if I don't," Stafford said as McClintic buried her head in her hands.

"My little girl is gone."

Tori's mother, Tara McDonald, said she is plagued by nightmares because a piece of her will be missing forever.

"I miss her so much that many times if I didn't have my son I probably would have taken my own life," McDonald said.

McDonald's mother, Linda Winters, and boyfriend, James Goris, also wrote statements and Rodney Stafford's mother Doreen Graichen and his sister Randi Millen did videotaped statements, which were played in court.

Though McClintic may one day walk free, Tori's family will never be released from their horror, Graichen said in her statement.

"We've all become imprisoned for life," she said. "Our sentence will never end."

A life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years is automatic for a first-degree murder conviction. McClintic may apply for the so-called faint hope clause after 15 years.

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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by lisette on Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:17 pm

Thanks for the update, Rainbow...I was just looking the other day for something new on this, but couldn't find anything...
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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:50 pm

Thank you for the update Rainbow. That was sad reading for me. To hear about her families pain, her brothers guilt and nightmares.
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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:26 am

It is such a sad story! Tori was so trusting of this woman (McClintic), and to hear of how she was abused & murdered is unimaginable. Not only precious Tori's life has been destroyed, but as you said, her brother & parents are forever scarred by this. All for what? A few moments of sick "pleasure" by a pervert?!? If only these "monsters" who abuse & murder children would stop & actually THINK before they commit these heinous crimes... maybe they would spare these children, families & themselves from a life of misery!! soap box
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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by Nama on Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:23 am

Friday Mar. 4, 2011
A Superior Court Judge has ruled that Michael Rafferty's trial will take place in London. Rafferty is charged with the abduction and first-degree murder of Victoria Stafford.

In a decision released Friday Justice Thomas Heeney writes, "The jury will be instructed that the fact that the accused has been charged with these crimes is not evidence of guilt. They will also be instructed that the accused is presumed to be innocent of these charges."

Heeney goes on to say he believes Rafferty will receive a fair trial because jurors will stay true to their oath to objectively consider the facts of the trial.

The crown attorneys in the case previously consented to moving the trial from Woodstock.

Rafferty's first appearance in a London court is set for April 6, 2011.

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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:03 am

Trial Date Set for Michael Rafferty
A trial date has now been set for the man accused of murdering Tori Stafford.

Michael Rafferty will stand trial on a first degree murder charge January 16th, 2012 in London.

The date was set this morning at the London courthouse.

It's expected pre-trial motions and jury selection will dominate the first few weeks of the trial.

Rafferty's trial was moved to London last month after a Woodstock judge ruled Rafferty couldn't get a fair trial in Woodstock,Tori's hometown.

Tori was was abducted in April 2009.

Her remains were found in June 2009 in a field 100 kilometers north of Woodstock.

The other person charged in Tori's death, 20 year old Terru-Lynne McClintic pleaded guilty to first degree murder.

She was sentenced to life in prison.
http://www.cjbk.com/LocalNews/Story.aspx?id=1397642
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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:03 am

BY LINDA NGUYEN, POSTMEDIA NEWS JANUARY 15, 2012

LONDON, Ont. - The highly anticipated trial of an Ontario man accused in the death of Victoria Stafford was set to begin Monday, nearly three years after the eight-year-old was kidnapped on her way home from school.

Michael Rafferty, 30, is charged with first-degree murder and abduction in the disappearance of the Grade 3 student, who was last seen on April 9, 2009 in Woodstock, Ont.

His trial, which will be held in nearby London, Ont., will start with a four-week long preliminary hearing, which is under an automatic publication ban.

Following that, jury selection from a pool of about 1,000 people will begin on Feb. 27. The trial, which is expected to last up to two to three months, will be presided over by Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas Heeney.

London police have prepared security measures for the trial, which was moved from Woodstock over concerns Rafferty would not get a fair trial in the hometown he shared with the girl.

Known as Tori, the small, blonde, blue-eyed girl was last seen on surveillance tape walking hand-in-hand with a then unidentified woman outside her elementary school.

The case generated international coverage after her estranged parents, Rodney Stafford and Tara McDonald, made desperate daily pleas through the media for the return of their daughter.

More than 100 police officers were involved in the case, as search teams looked for the girl.

Her disappearance was also featured on the popular U.S. television show, America's Most Wanted.

It wasn't until three months after she was reported missing that a lone Ontario Provincial Police investigator found her remains under a rock pile in Mount Forest, Ont., more than 100 kilometres from her home.

In 2010, Rafferty's former girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, admitted she was the woman in the surveillance video and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Stafford's death. She is currently serving 25 years in prison.

In the surprise guilty plea, McClintic confessed to being high on Oxycontin when she lured Stafford with the promise of meeting a puppy.

McClintic told the court that along the way, she purchased garbage bags and a hammer before stopping at a clearing where Stafford was later found.

"I didn't wake up on that morning thinking I was going to take a child," said McClintic in a statement read aloud in Woodstock court on April 30, 2010.

"Every day, I think that maybe if I hadn't walked down the street that day, that precious little angel would still be here. Every day I ask myself why?"

The plea was placed under a controversial publication ban for months until it was lifted last year.

Meanwhile, Stafford's mother and her stepfather, James Goris, were also scheduled to be in court this week on unrelated charges.

The two, along with another man, Brandon Annis, 38, were arrested last September after police found crack cocaine and marijuana at an address in Woodstock.

McDonald, who had admitted to drug use in the past, has previously told the court she has contemplated suicide following the disappearance of her only daughter.

Both of Stafford's parents had previously vowed to be in the courthouse each day for Rafferty's trial.

Messages left with the family went unreturned.

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Normal Re: Terri-Lynn McClintic and Micheal Rafferty; accused killers of Tori Stafford/ McClintic has pleaded guilty and sentenced to life in prison/ Update 05/12/12: Rafferty Found GUILTY of 1st Degree Murder!!/Update 8/2: Rafferty is appealing sentence!

Post by lisette on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:29 am

Meanwhile, Stafford's mother and her stepfather, James Goris, were also scheduled to be in court this week on unrelated charges.

The two, along with another man, Brandon Annis, 38, were arrested last September after police found crack cocaine and marijuana at an address in Woodstock.

Had not heard about this.
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