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 Stafford pathologist can't say who dealt fatal blows - WARNING: This story contains disturbing details

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:24 pm

CBC News Posted: Apr 4, 2012 9:42 AM ET
Last Updated: Apr 4, 2012 2:22 PM ET

The pathologist who examined the battered body of Victoria (Tori) Stafford testified today in a murder trial in London, Ont., that he is unable to determine who inflicted the fatal blows on the eight-year-old girl.

Dr. Michael Pollanen, chief forensic pathologist for Ontario, was back in the witness box for the trial of Michael Rafferty, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and abduction.

During his cross-examination of Pollanen on Wednesday morning, defence lawyer Dirk Derstine asked the pathologist about the extensive injuries found on Tori's remains, including at least four fatal blows to her head from a hammer.

"Science and all of your skill cannot tell us who inflicted these wounds?" Derstine asked.

"That is correct," Pollanen replied.

Victoria Stafford disappeared after leaving her school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)
Tori disappeared outside her elementary school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009. Her remains were found near Mount Forest, a small community 100 kilometres north of the girl's home on July 19, 2009.

Derstine also asked Pollanen about evidence of a sexual assault. The court heard Tuesday that her remains were too decomposed, so no such evidence was expected to be found.

"The medical evidence is silent on sexual assault," Pollanen said Wednesday.

Pollanen began his testimony on Tuesday, presenting autopsy photographs and describing the injuries found on the schoolgirl's body. Along with the hammer blows, a post-mortem examination also revealed numerous rib fractures, probably from kicking or stomping, and damage to her liver, injuries which were likely sustained while Tori was still alive.

Pollanen told the court Tori was clad in only a T-shirt and there was no evidence of clothing on the lower portion of her body.

OPP officer describes massive search effort
The Crown contends Tori was lured to Rafferty's car by Terri-Lynne McClintic shortly after Tori left Oliver Stephens Public School in Woodstock. The pair then drove the girl first to Guelph, and later to a rural area north of the city where she was allegedly raped and killed.

McClintic, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder two years ago, testified last month she kicked the young girl before hitting her several times with a hammer. McClintic, 21, had previously told police it was Rafferty who delivered the fatal blows.

Victoria (Tori) Stafford's body was found in a rural area near Mount Forest, Ont., three months after she went missing.

After Pollanen's cross-examination, the Crown called Sgt. John James Stirling, a co-ordinator with the Ontario Provincial Police's search and rescue unit.

Sgt. Stirling detailed the massive effort to locate Tori that was launched following her disappearance, involving hundreds of officers from both the OPP and surrounding municipal forces.

Police searched a massive area around Guelph and came within 6.8 kilometres of the site where Tori's body would eventually be found by top OPP interrogator Det. Staff Sgt. Jim Smyth.

Officers traversed more than 18,000 kilometres on foot, horseback and in vehicles, including cruisers, helicopters and ATVs.

Sgt. Stirling said it was the largest such operation in Ontario, possibly in all of Canada.

Rafferty's trial, which began in early March, is expected to last several more weeks.

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I am thinking both prints were on the hammer????

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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 Wrapitup on Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:26 am

Tori Stafford poster found at home of accused killer

Updated: Thu Apr. 05 2012 16:13:13
The Canadian Press

LONDON, Ont. — WARNING: Graphic details from this court case may disturb some readers

A hazy picture of the man accused of killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford began to emerge Thursday, with glimpses of a life filled with both narcotics and fitness, and an apparent love of clothes shopping.

Michael Rafferty's car and the home he shared with his mother in Woodstock, Ont., were searched after his arrest in May 2009, and jurors got a look at what police found, including a missing-girl poster of the child he is alleged to have raped and killed.

Officers were guided in their search by information from Terri-Lynne McClintic, Rafferty's girlfriend, who had days earlier confessed and implicated him, Ontario Provincial Police Const. Gary Scoyne testified.

A black pea coat, like the one McClintic said was used to cover Tori in the back seat of Rafferty's car, was found in his front hall closet, Scoyne said.

Police also found several empty, unlabelled pill bottles and one empty bottle for a prescription of the addictive painkiller Oxycodone in Rafferty's bedroom.

An ex-girlfriend of Rafferty's testified that she would sell him a clear baggie -- one was found in his car -- full of Percocets, an addictive painkiller, containing the same opioid as OxyContin.

Such drugs appear to have been ever-present in Rafferty's life, so much so that he talked frequently about them after his arrest. Police placed two undercover officers in the cells with him and they went to court the next day with him, too, court heard.

Rafferty asked the officers if they had any drugs on them, saying he took either five 80-milligram "Oxy" pills or a dozen 40-milligram pills a day, or between 20 and 30 Percocets.


"It's going to be a hard few days," Rafferty told them.

In the back seat of his car, where Tori was allegedly kept on the floor on the drive to the rural area where she was killed, was a gym bag. A mixture of Tori and Rafferty's blood was found on the bag, the Crown has said.

The bench part of the back seat itself was missing, covered by a blanket.

The interior door and dashboard surfaces of Rafferty's car had been unevenly painted white, and on the rear passenger side door it appeared as though someone had tried to remove the paint, Scoyne said. The window crank was also gone. McClintic testified that it was in that area of the car that Rafferty raped Tori.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

Scientists who ran DNA and other tests on several of the items will take the stand Tuesday, the Crown said.

Rafferty was a member of GoodLife Fitness and was arrested in its parking lot, court heard. There was a Men's Health magazine found in his car.

In addition, the back seat and floor of his car were littered with six pairs of shoes and several water bottles of the same brand. More of those water bottles were found scattered in his messy but sparsely decorated bedroom.

The bottles had caps like those found in the garbage bag containing Tori's remains. McClintic testified that after the alleged sexual assault, Rafferty used water bottles from his car to clean himself.

Police also found a receipt from Wal-Mart for two boxes of hair dye. McClintic testified that Rafferty gave her one in the days after Tori went missing on April 8, 2009, and told her to change her appearance.

The other box of hair dye was for a "Frost and Tips" kit. At the time of Rafferty's arrest, his brown hair had blond dye on the tips, court has heard.

McClintic, who is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, initially told police she abducted Tori at Rafferty's urging, and that he then raped and killed the girl. However, she recently testified at Rafferty's trial that it was she who used a hammer to kill Tori.

Meanwhile, McClintic made a brief video appearance Thursday in court in Kitchener, Ont., on a charge of assault causing bodily harm arising from an incident Jan. 30 at the Grand Valley Institution for Women.

While McClintic was testifying at Rafferty's trial, court heard that at the end of January she kicked and stomped on another female inmate who was curled on the ground in a fetal position. That is also what McClintic has said happened to Tori before she was killed with blows to the head with a hammer.

In Rafferty's house, a memory card was found in one drawer with pictures of McClintic and several of Rafferty, including one with a big smile on his face.

On Wednesday, the jury saw the results of the search at McClintic's dilapidated home. Rafferty's house was better furnished, although his bedroom had bare walls and few personal effects beyond clothing.

The clothing was plentiful -- in the closet, on a bookshelf, and in shopping bags on the floor of his bedroom and in the back seat and trunk of his car. He was also carrying bags from clothing stores when he was arrested.

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:35 pm

Terri-Lynne McClintic charged with assaulting fellow inmate

CBC News Posted: Apr 6, 2012 2:42 PM ET

Geoff Snow told CBC News on Friday that McClintic, 21, is alleged to have got into an altercation with Aimee McIntyre, a fellow inmate at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont., on Jan. 30.

Both inmates are serving life sentences, he said.

McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the Stafford slaying in April 2010 and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Eight-year-old Victoria, also known as Tori, went missing April 8, 2009. Her body was found July 21, 2009, in a field in Mount Forest, about 100 kilometres from her hometown.

Snow said he could not discuss the details of the alleged jail assault or what triggered the altercation. Lawyers will be reviewing the Crown's evidence, meeting with McClintic and then will decide what plea to enter, he added.

McClintic will next appear in a Kitchener, Ont., court via video on April 26, he said.

'She hasn't lost her rights'
He said she's still innocent unless and until proven guilty of the assault.

"In this country, no matter who you are, if you're charged with a crime, you're not convicted until the Crown proves without a reasonable doubt you did it.… She's lost her freedom, no doubt about that, and nothing's going to change that. But she hasn't lost her rights," Snow said.

McClintic has testified at the ongoing trial of her former boyfriend, Michael Thomas Rafferty, who is accused of abducting and sexually assaulting and killing Victoria. Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty.

McClintic testified in March that, while it was Rafferty's idea to abduct Victoria and he sexually assaulted the young girl, said was the one who delivered the fatal hammer blows.

McClintic's appearances at the trial in London, Ont., have slightly delayed progress on dealing with the jail assault charges, Snow said.

"At this point, we're reviewing disclosure and the Crown's case, and considering her options," he said.

While it is too early in the case to discuss the outcome, a guilty finding would not add any more prison time to McClintic's sentence, Snow said. Well, Duh!! She's serving life plus 25 years.

Rafferty trial to hear testimony about DNA tests
Meanwhile, Rafferty's trial is scheduled to continue next week, with the Crown saying testimony about DNA tests on items seized from his home and car will be heard.

The trial heard Thursday that investigators seized a black pea coat and pill bottles from the home Rafferty shared with his mother.

An officer testified that the coat was similar to one Rafferty's ex-girlfriend told police was used to cover Tori in the back seat of Rafferty's car.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:39 am



Currently in Woodstock, Ontario, the ongoing criminal trial against Michael Rafferty, the accused rapist-murderer of 8-year-old Victoria Stafford. The crime actually involves two people – Rafferty and his impressionable girlfriend Terry-Lynne McLintic. McLintic was videotaped luring little Tori into a car driven by Rafferty. Hours later Tori was dead; raped by Rafferty and killed with a hammer. McLintic insists she was the murderer and it was she who kicked and bludgeoned little Tori.

One of the strangest aspects of this case is McLintic’s admission of guilt to a murder she probably didn’t commit. She was under Rafferty’s influence in the extreme:

luring Tori into the car
purchasing a hammer and garbage bag on the way to the homicide scene
accepting responsibility for Tori’s violent death

McClintic’s upbringing, included that she was given up for adoption and raised in a household where violence and substance abuse were prevalent. Add Rafferty to the mix and McLintic became an impressionable candidate for child abduction, however child murder is questionable. McLintic is already in prison and has been brought out as a witness in the Rafferty case. Taking the hit for this man seems unthinkable to most people, but it is very plausible.

Photographs of the child’s beaten, lifeless body were released in court two days ago, causing the Staffords to leave the courtroom, unable to look at the pictures. The judge advised the jury not to allow its emotions to over- ride it’s rationality when judging Rafferty’s character and involvement in the case. That may seem odd however his comment makes sense: emotion interferes with logic, which in turn interferes with due process. Suppose, by a distant possibility, Rafferty was innocent and there sits a man accused of a horrific crime he has not committed. All is lost: he faces a definitely hanging jury. When emotions reign, applying the law to a crime becomes a challenge.

It is all about applying Canadian criminal law to reach a clear, rational decision that will lead to the longest possible prison sentence within the most secure maximum facility possible for two deeply disturbed individuals. This is the goal of a jury in a criminal case and maintaining a level head is more likely to secure a severe outcome for the guilty party.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:19 pm

Family of Tori Stafford spend quiet day on anniversary of her disappearance
By: The Canadian Press
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Rodney Stafford, father of Victoria (Tori) Stafford, visits her grave to mark the third anniversary of the day the eight-year-old girl vanished while walking home from school, in Woodstock, Ont., Sunday, April 8, 2012.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

WOODSTOCK, Ont. - It has been three years since eight-year-old Victoria Stafford vanished outside her school in Woodstock, Ont., and in the midst of the trial of the man accused in her death, her family is spent a quiet day marking the grim anniversary.

Her father Rodney Stafford and his family paid a visit to Tori's grave, as they have been most days throughout the trial of Michael Rafferty in London, Ont.

April 8, 2009, was the day Tori never returned home from school and never would again. It's tough to recall that day and the agonizing months that followed, before her remains were discovered that July, but at the same time each April 8 is just another day without Tori, said Rodney Stafford.

"Yes, it's an anniversary, but I don't want to keep reliving that day," he said.

"There's a deeper loss because she's gone, but at the same time there's more positive out there."

Since Tori disappeared the community support for the family has been overwhelming, Stafford said. On Easter Sunday in 2009 a candlelight vigil for Tori, then missing four days, was organized and well over 1,000 people from Woodstock and beyond flooded a parking lot in town to pray for the girl's safe return.

That same day, court has heard, Terri-Lynne McClintic was arrested on a breach of probation. She later confessed to abducting Tori and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

McClintic also faces a new unrelated charge of assault causing bodily harm in connection with an incident last January at the Grand Valley Institution for Women, the prison where she is serving her sentence.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

The Staffords have attended every day of the trial, though they say it's difficult to listen to the allegations against Rafferty. The support of people across the country is one thing that keeps them going, they say.

They attended a charity race Friday in London, and were quite affected by a girl who wore a T-shirt in memory of Tori. She placed first in the 12 and under category, Stafford said.

"It was a tear-jerker, knowing the reason she was doing it," Stafford said. "It's proving that the story is affecting everyone, even kids."

Well-wishers ask what they can do to honour Tori's memory, and for now Stafford just hopes everyone can spend time with family, as he will.

"It's Easter weekend," he said. "Enjoy it. Grab your kids close."

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:36 pm

Tori Stafford murder trial resumes Wednesday

LONDON, ONT. — The trial of a man accused of killing Victoria Stafford won’t sit Tuesday in London, Ont., because one of the lawyers is ill.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney told jurors that Michael Rafferty’s lawyer Dirk Derstine is sick with the flu.

Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

The court was supposed to hear Tuesday from forensic experts about DNA and other testing that was done on several items seized from Rafferty’s car.

“We’re getting into a very important area of the evidence and Mr. Rafferty should have his lead counsel here for that,” Heeney told the jury.

The trial is set to resume Wednesday with the forensic testimony.

Rafferty and his then-girlfriend Terri-Lynne McClintic, who confessed and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, allegedly abducted eight-year-old Tori in Rafferty’s car three years ago and killed her in a farmer’s field.

Tori disappeared outside her Woodstock elementary school in April 2009, and the jury has heard she was killed later that day.

McClintic is serving a life sentence.

She initially told police she abducted Tori at Rafferty’s urging, and that he then raped and killed the girl.

However, McClintic recently testified at Rafferty’s trial that it was she who used a hammer to kill Tori.

On Sunday, Tori’s family spent a quiet day marking the third anniversary of her disappearance.

Her father and his family paid a visit to Tori’s grave.

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:09 pm

Michael Rafferty Trial: Jurors To Hear Of Suspect's Past

Posted: 04/12/2012 4:00 am

LONDON, Ont. - The trial of the man accused of killing Victoria Stafford is hearing that not enough DNA could be extracted to determine if two blond hairs found on a coat belonged to the eight-year-old girl.

The hairs were found on a black pea coat in the Woodstock, Ont., home of Michael Rafferty, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault and kidnapping.

Terri-Lynne McClintic, who has already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the girl's death, has testified that Rafferty used the coat to hide the girl in his car when they abducted her.

Forensic biologist Jennifer McLean is being cross-examined today by Rafferty's lawyer, who is emphasizing the limitations of DNA and other testing.

She agreed with lawyer Dirk Derstine that when DNA from two or more people is found mixed in a blood sample — as it was with Tori's and Rafferty's to a near certainty on his gym bag — not all of the DNA samples are necessarily from blood.

McLean also testified that there was not enough DNA extracted from the two blond hairs to generate a DNA profile.

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:19 pm

Blood found on Rafferty's car is almost certainly Tori Stafford's, court hears

04/11/2012 | Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

Traces of blood found in a car allegedly used to abduct Victoria Stafford belonged — with near certainty — to the eight-year-old and the man accused of killing her, a court heard Wednesday.

A tiny spot of dried blood on the rubber moulding of the back passenger side door on Michael Rafferty's car was found to contain DNA matching Stafford's profile, forensic biologist Jennifer McLean testified at Rafferty's trial.

She said the probability that the blood was not Tori's is one in 150 trillion.

When the first tests were run on the blood sample in June 2009 Tori had been missing for two months but was presumed dead after Terri-Lynne McClintic confessed in the girl's murder. The DNA profile was compiled using Tori's parents' DNA, one of her teeth and a hair from a lice comb, McLean testified.

On a gym bag found in the back seat of the car, a bloodstain on the bottom, almost invisible to the naked eye, contained DNA that almost certainly came from Rafferty and Tori, court heard.

A mixture of blood and semen was found on the back of the front passenger seat, but McLean did not give any evidence about how long they had been there. Rafferty could not be excluded as the source of the semen and McClintic could not be excluded as the source of the blood, McLean said.

Science was the focus Wednesday at Rafferty's trial, where experts from the Centre of Forensic Sciences testified about testing done on several items seized from Rafferty's home and car following his May 19, 2009, arrest.

Rafferty is alleged to have kidnapped Tori outside her Woodstock, Ont., elementary school on April 8, 2009, with his then-girlfriend McClintic, and then driven the Grade 3 student more than 100 kilometres away to a rural area, raped her and killed her.

Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping. McClintic is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.

McClintic testified last month at Rafferty's trial that after she shoved Tori into the back seat of Rafferty's car, he ordered the girl to stay on the floor and covered her with his black pea coat so she wouldn't be seen.

A coat matching McClintic's description was found in the house Rafferty shared with his mother, and testing revealed the presence of two blond hairs, which are expected to be the subject of further testimony Thursday, as McLean's testimony continues.

Barbara Doupe, an expert in hair and fibre testing as well as textile damage assessment, testified about how the hairs were found and about testing she did on a small piece of grey material found on the floor of Rafferty's car, a 2003 Honda Civic.

McClintic has testified that Rafferty sexually assaulted Tori in the rear passenger side of his car. McClintic said that as she and Rafferty were driving home after leaving Tori's body under a pile of rocks in a farmer's field, he told her to use a utility knife he had in his car to cut stained pieces of material out of his back seat.

She did so and threw them out the window as they were driving along Highway 401 that night, she testified. But court has heard that police were unable to find such pieces of cloth and foam when they scoured a 51-kilometre stretch of the highway shoulder in May 2009.

A search of Rafferty's car turned up a small, 3 1/2-centimetre by half-a-centimetre piece of grey cloth and foam. Doupe was asked to determine if the material had been cut and with what type of tool.

She found that the piece of material was either from a 2003 Honda Civic or another source of upholstery with indistinguishable characteristics. The material had been recently cut with a "sharp-edged implement," Doupe found.

McLean's testing on the grey material found chemical indications of blood, though none was visible, and while DNA from at least two people, one being male, was present, the minuscule amount of it meant it was unsuitable to be tested further, she said.

The night of Tori's death Rafferty stopped at a car wash and washed and vacuumed his car, McClintic testified. When police arrested Rafferty his car was missing its back seat, court has heard.

But an ex-girlfriend who court heard Rafferty was dating at the same time as McClintic testified Wednesday that his car had a back seat when she last saw him on March 23, 2009. Alexis Lane had recently reconnected with Rafferty, whom she had known from middle school in Drayton, Ont., she said. Drayton is slightly south of Mount Forest, where Tori was killed.

In a police interview on May 15, 2009, Rafferty mentions at least two other women he was dating in the early months of 2009, at the same time as McClintic and Lane.

Court is also expected to hear Thursday about Rafferty's past, as the Crown has indicated it will call witnesses about his connections to the Mount Forest area.

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:00 pm

Rafferty put back seat of car out for garbage pickup, Stafford jury hears

ALLISON JONES
LONDON, Ont.— The Canadian Press

Published Thursday, Apr. 12, 2012 1:48PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Apr. 12, 2012 2:46PM EDT

A missing back seat from the car of the man accused of abducting and killing Victoria Stafford was the focus at his trial Thursday, as neighbours and ex-girlfriends gave somewhat conflicting testimony about when the seat was last in his car.

The back seat was gone when police arrested Michael Rafferty in May 2009, and various people have testified about seeing it in the car at points throughout the spring of that year.

But it remains unclear whether it was there on April 8, the day Mr. Rafferty allegedly kidnapped Tori in his car with Terri-Lynne McClintic.

Two former neighbours of Mr. Rafferty from Woodstock, Ont., testified he put the back seat of his car out for a garbage pickup in mid-April.

Mike Griswold, who lived near Mr. Rafferty and his mother, said the back seat was in the car when he helped move Mr. Rafferty from Guelph, Ont., to Woodstock in 2008 and in early spring 2009 when he told Mr. Rafferty to turn down the music in his car.

Then Mr. Griswold noticed the seat sitting out front of the Rafferty household for garbage pickup about April 15, along with a piece of foam. It had a straight cut in one side, he said.

Under cross-examination by Mr. Rafferty's lawyer, Dirk Derstine, Mr. Griswold also recalled that he had told police he saw Mr. Rafferty take the seat out on March 29, 2009, to install large speakers, and that Mr. Rafferty put it in his backyard shed.

Ms. McClintic, who is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in Tori's death, told police that Mr. Rafferty sexually assaulted the girl in the back seat of his car, and that on their way home after Tori had been killed, Mr. Rafferty got her to cut out stained pieces of material and foam.

Ms. McClintic, 21, was actually one of several women Mr. Rafferty was dating in the months leading up to Tori's death. Court has so far heard about at least four other women he was seeing in that time frame.

One of them, Melanie LaBute, 39, testified Thursday that Mr. Rafferty went into the Staples store where she worked one Tuesday in late March and asked her out by saying he was new in town and wondered if she knew of any good restaurants.

They played pool with some of Ms. LaBute's friends a few days later and when he drove her home that night she said his car looked dirty, was littered with Tim Hortons coffee cups and had blankets draped over the back seat.

“It just made me think of somebody who lived inside their car,” she said.

Mr. Rafferty picked Ms. LaBute up again the next morning and tried to take her out for breakfast, but he got lost, though it didn't matter to Ms. LaBute at that time because she said she had already decided she wasn't interested.

“He just seemed really needy to me,” she testified. “He did end up calling...He had just asked, ‘Why haven't you called me? Is there something wrong?“’

Ms. LaBute decided to break things off in person, and that was the last time she saw Mr. Rafferty, a few days later in March, she said.

Another woman Mr. Rafferty was seeing at the time testified Wednesday that his car had a back seat when she last saw him on March 23, 2009.

Mr. Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

Forensic biologist Jennifer McLean also finished her testimony Thursday morning. Court heard from her Wednesday that traces of blood found in Mr. Rafferty's car belonged with near certainty to Tori. The probability that a tiny spot of dried blood on the rubber moulding of the back passenger side door was not Tori's is one in 150 trillion, she said.

On a gym bag found in the back seat of the car, a bloodstain on the bottom, almost invisible to the naked eye, contained DNA that — with a similarly high probability — came from Mr. Rafferty and Tori, court heard.

Under cross-examination Thursday, Ms. McLean said that just because the bloodstain contained several DNA profiles does not mean that each person's DNA came from blood. It also doesn't mean that the DNA samples were placed in the same spot at the same time, she said.

Two blond hairs were found on a black pea coat Mr. Rafferty had that matched the description of one Ms. McClintic said was used to cover Tori in the car, court heard. Ms.McLean testified Thursday that one of the hairs was from a female, but not Tori or Ms. McClintic, and the other hair did not contain enough DNA to be properly tested.

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:15 pm

Rafferty told a friend of Tori Stafford's mom the girl would be OK, court told

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press Apr 13, 2012 17:13:00 PM

LONDON, Ont. - As Victoria Stafford's body lay concealed in a secluded corner of a remote farmer's field, the man accused of killing her consoled a friend of the eight-year-old's mother, telling her Tori would return home safely, court heard Friday.

One of the 10 women Michael Rafferty, 31, was dating in the spring of 2009 testified at his first-degree murder trial Friday that she knew Tori and was quite upset after the little girl vanished outside her Woodstock, Ont., elementary school on April 8 of that year.

Amanda Chambers, 33, knew Tori's mother. So she, like so many other Woodstock residents, volunteered to help search for Tori the next day. That evening she got a call from Rafferty, who said he too was helping in the search, Chambers testified.

The following day she met Rafferty at a coffee shop, where he was "trying to be very supportive," Chambers said.

"He said, 'You know, I believe she's OK,'" Chambers testified. "He kept telling me he believed she was OK."
"I'm sure she'll return safe," she quoted Rafferty as saying.

Tori had been to Chambers' house and played with her children, and Rafferty appeared just as worried about Tori, she said.

"He seemed to be as concerned as pretty much any other person I had seen," she said. "He seemed to have a big heart about the situation."

Almost immediately after news of Tori's disappearance broke, Rafferty changed his status on the online messaging service MSN to say "Bring Tori home," testified a woman he chatted with over the Internet.
Like most of the other women Rafferty was seeing or chatting with in the spring of 2009, Sharon Latimer, 50, met Rafferty on the dating website Plenty of Fish. So did Michelle Wagler, 30, who also testified about Rafferty's changed MSN status. When she changed her own status to read "Prayers for Tori," Rafferty messaged her, Wagler said.

"He commented on my status and said that, 'We're all praying for her,'" Wagler testified.


Around that time surveillance video was released showing a woman in a white puffy coat leading Tori away from her school. Terri-Lynne McClintic, 21, has said it was her, and testified earlier at the trial that Rafferty was waiting in his car, just out of view of that surveillance video.

In the coffee shop on April 10 with Chambers, Rafferty joked that if a woman in a white coat came into the store he would tackle her, Chambers testified.

But several other women who Rafferty dated at the time testified that he talked about McClintic, speaking to her on the phone and visiting her at a youth detention centre. He really wanted to help her turn her life around, several ex-girlfriends testified. McClintic was arrested April 12 on an unrelated matter, court has heard, but police were also questioning her about the Stafford case.

McClintic confessed on May 19, 2009, and Rafferty was arrested. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping. McClintic is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.

During McClintic's testimony at Rafferty's trial, she said he had urged her to kidnap a child, and after they abducted Tori he drove them about two hours north to a rural area, where Rafferty sexually assaulted Tori before she was killed. McClintic told police in her confession that Rafferty killed Tori, but shortly before she testified at trial she changed her story to say that it was her, court heard.

That remote area southeast of Mount Forest, Ont., would have been familiar to Rafferty, who lived and worked nearby at various times in his life, court heard.

A previous witness testified she went to middle school with Rafferty in Drayton — about 35 kilometres south of Mount Forest — where he lived with an aunt and uncle, but he moved to the Toronto area for high school.

Later, he lived in Guelph, Ont. — where court has heard he and McClintic stopped with Tori in the car to buy garbage bags and a hammer — and worked for a landscaping company that had contracts at several landfills north of the city.

John Cruickshank, who owns the landscaping company, testified Friday that Rafferty worked for him in the summer of 2003 and from September 2005 to September 2006. The landfills Rafferty and his other employees worked at were between Guelph and Mount Forest, court heard, including one that was just a couple of side roads away from where Tori was killed.

Rachel Diwell, 23, who dated Rafferty when he lived in Guelph, said they were "inseparable" during their relationship of several months in 2006 or 2007. Many of their dates consisted of driving around back roads north of Guelph, she said.

"He always seemed to know where he was going or he had a map that he would look up," she said. "He always travelled on a lot of back roads to get places."

The pair also frequented self-serve car washes in Cambridge, Ont., Diwell testified. Though the trial has seen that Rafferty's car was dirty and filled with junk, clothing and shoes in 2009, Diwell said at the time she dated him, Rafferty obsessively kept his car clean. They would go to the car wash and clean the outside of the vehicle and vacuum inside "a couple times a week, at least," Diwell said.


McClintic testified that on the way home to Woodstock after leaving Tori's body in the field, Rafferty stopped at a car wash in Cambridge, where they vacuumed the interior and he told her to wash the floor mats.

Rafferty told most of the women he met that he had a contracting business and was a ballroom dance instructor, and that's why he was constantly on his BlackBerry, court heard. Other than his purported jobs, Rafferty doesn't appear to have disclosed much personal information to the women he dated, except for letting a few details slip to Stephanie Cooney, 29, about his formative years.

"He told me about his past, growing up, (it) wasn't the best," she testified. "He didn't really get along with his family at all, kind of had a bad childhood, got into a lot of trouble."

Rafferty told Cooney he didn't get along with his brother, she said. Court heard from another woman Thursday who said Rafferty told her he had a few brothers but wasn't close to them.


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Normal Tori Stafford trial hears that Michael Rafferty was familiar with area where body was found

Post by raine1953 on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:14 pm

LONDON, Ont. — Three years before the remains of Victoria (Tori) Stafford were found in a rural field near Mount Forest, Ont., the man accused in her death regularly travelled through that town, court heard Tuesday.

Jennifer Etsell, a mother of two, said she drove Michael Rafferty nearly every weekend in the spring of 2006 from where he was living in Guelph, Ont., to her home in Hanover. During the 1 1/2 hour trip north, the two would take Highway 6 and pass through Mount Forest.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to all charges related to Stafford’s death. In 2010, Rafferty’s ex-girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

The Grade 3 student was last seen April 8, 2009, outside her elementary school in Woodstock, Ont., a small city about 120 kilometres west of Toronto.

Her battered body was found more than three months later wrapped in garbage bags under a rock pile near Mount Forest.

She had died from blunt force trauma to the head, most likely caused by multiple blows from a hammer.

Like many of Rafferty’s ex-girlfriends the court heard from last week, Etsell had met Rafferty on the dating website Plenty of Fish. She said she was drawn to his online profile.

“(It said) He was looking for Christian girls. He wore his heart on his sleeve,” said Etsell. “He was a ladies’ man.”

Earlier, a former grade school classmate of Rafferty’s was also called by the Crown to testify. Ann Tweedie said she grew up with Rafferty when both lived in Drayton, Ont., a small community south of Mount Forest.

Meanwhile, the trial recessed for about an hour Tuesday so lawyers could discuss a number of legal arguments. The content of these are under an automatic publication ban.

The proceedings will resume Tuesday afternoon with more witnesses and a continuation of the legal arguments.

Court also heard last week from a number of women who dated the accused, including one who said that Rafferty was familiar with backroads in the area because they would often go on long drives together.

Other women, who met Rafferty on an online dating site in the months leading up to his arrest in May 2009, testified he expressed interest to them about the Stafford abduction and had talked about supporting McClintic while she was incarcerated.

The trial is expected to last until mid-May or early June.
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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 Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:24 pm


Weathered crime scene tape still remains where Tori Stafford's body was found in 2009 on Concesion Rd. 6 of Arthur Townhip. The jury from the Michael Rafferty trial, who is accused of murdering and sexually assaulting Stafford, was brought to the scene so they could see how the evidence fits into the case

This is a March 6, 2012 court handout of a photo taken of Victoria Stafford on April 7, 2009 at Oliver Stephen Public School.

Michael Rafferty, undated, is seen here in two photos used during his trial for the murder of Tori Stafford.
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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:13 am

Rafferty trial hears about accused’s ties to area where Tori was killed

LONDON, ONT. — The trial of a man accused of killing Victoria Stafford has heard that a route he frequently travelled with an ex-girlfriend took him within a couple of minutes of where the eight-year-old girl was killed.

Tori was killed on April 8, 2009, but her remains went undiscovered for months under rocks in a corner of a remote farmer’s field southeast of Mount Forest.

The area is more than 100 kilometres from where the Grade 3 student was abducted outside her school in Woodstock.

Michael Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

His trial is hearing that at various points in his life Rafferty lived, worked and went to school in the Mount Forest area.

Ex-girlfriend Jennifer Etsell testified that when she dated Rafferty for several months in 2006 she would pick him up in Guelph, where he was living, and drive him to visit her in Hanover on the weekends, taking a route that passed through Mount Forest.

Rafferty said his licence was suspended at the time, Etsell said, and that’s why she picked him up. Under cross-examination she agreed her route stayed on Highway 6 and did not venture onto the rural back roads in the area.

The route from Highway 6 to the field where Tori was killed involved exiting the highway at one side road and turning onto another side road, court has seen.

Rafferty’s defence has suggested that his girlfriend at the time of Tori’s death, Terri-Lynne McClintic, was the “engine” behind the girl’s abduction and murder. McClintic, who is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, has testified that Rafferty urged her to kidnap a girl and that he sexually assaulted Tori.

The Crown has called several witnesses to establish Rafferty’s ties to the Mount Forest area — about a two-hour drive from Woodstock.

The owner of a landscaping company testified that Rafferty worked for him at a landfill site less than five kilometres away from where Tori died.

Rafferty lived in Drayton, south of Mount Forest, with his aunt and uncle and attended Grades 6 and 7 in the town, a former friend testified Tuesday.

After that he moved to the Toronto area, but would come back to the area for visits on holidays, testified Ann Tweedie.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:34 am

Rafferty ‘upset’ after police interviewed him about Tori’s disappearance

The Canadian Press

LONDON, ONT. As the police investigation into the disappearance of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford turned to Michael Rafferty, he was contacting an autowrecker, getting rid of his BlackBerry and complaining that he was being investigated, court heard Tuesday.

Police had their eye on Terri-Lynne McClintic, one of several women Rafferty was dating at the time, almost immediately after Tori vanished outside her Woodstock elementary school on April 8, 2009.

Rafferty’s name didn’t come up for several weeks, and when two officers showed up at his house the evening of May 15 to interview him about Tori’s case and ask him about McClintic, he was evidently not pleased.

Joy Woods, one of at least six women Rafferty met through dating website Plenty of Fish and started seeing after April 8, testified Tuesday that Rafferty was “very upset” when he called her on May 16.

“He seemed to feel that the police were blaming him for taking Tori,” Woods said. “I assured him that if he hadn’t, there was nothing to worry about ... He couldn’t figure out why they would blame him.”

It wasn’t the first time the two had discussed the case, she said. It came up in conversation “quite a bit,” Woods said, including one day when she and Rafferty went to watch her daughter do gymnastics.

Other women Rafferty was dating at the time have previously testified he was obsessed with the case, constantly checking news reports and telling them he had volunteered to help search for the little girl.

The Crown alleges McClintic snatched Tori outside her school at Rafferty’s urging, then he drove the girl more than 100 kilometres north to a secluded farmer’s field where she was sexually assaulted and killed. McClintic is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty two years ago to first-degree murder.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

His trial, now in its seventh week, heard Tuesday that on May 11, Rafferty made two calls to an autowrecker’s shop in London, Ont., and went there that afternoon. There was no evidence about why Rafferty contacted them or what was discussed.

On May 14, he went to a Bell store to get a new BlackBerry, telling the sales associate that the battery wasn’t lasting very long and he was having trouble with his chargers, court heard. He was given a loaner phone that day. Rafferty told Woods that he was getting a new phone because his old one got wet, but Bell documents show there were no signs of liquid damage to the BlackBerry.

Police were finally able to find Tori’s remains on July 19, 2009, after cellphone records showed there were two calls made from the Mount Forest area from Rafferty’s BlackBerry on the evening of April 8.

Investigators were able to retrieve the phone Rafferty got rid of by tracking it back to its manufacturer, Research In Motion, but all the data had been erased, testified provincial police Constable James Brady.

Rafferty returned to the Bell store on May 19 to exchange the loaner phone for a new BlackBerry that was ready, Brady testified. He was also at the mall that night buying clothes for Woods for a trip she had planned to Las Vegas the next day.

“He called me probably about four times that day asking for my shoe size, my dress size, certain things,” Woods testified. “I wasn’t comfortable with it, never was, but he always wanted to buy stuff for me, always wanted to buy clothes for me and wanted to buy the kids stuff.”

Woods agreed to meet Rafferty in the parking lot of a GoodLife Fitness in Woodstock at about 7:30 p.m. so he could give her the new clothes.

Rafferty got into her car, put the shopping bags on the floor, then a man appeared at the car window, asking, “Are you Michael Rafferty?” she said.

Woods got out of the car to see about 20 police officers and watched as Rafferty was put into handcuffs and taken away in a police car.

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Normal Tori Stafford trial: Rafferty told Facebook ahead of murder that 'good' things were coming

Post by raine1953 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:03 am

LONDON, Ont. — Just hours before Ontario schoolgirl Victoria (Tori) Stafford went missing in April 2009, the man accused in her death posted on Facebook that he was expecting "good" things to happen, his first-degree murder trial heard Wednesday.

In a status update on the popular social networking website, Michael Rafferty had shared that, "Everything good is comming (sic) my way."

The post was written at 10:01 a.m. on April 8, 2009 — the last day anyone saw eight-year-old Stafford alive.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to abduction, sexual assault causing bodily harm and first-degree murder in death of the Grade 3 student.

Stafford was reported missing after she failed to return home after school that day in Woodstock, Ont., a small city about 120 kilometres west of Toronto.

Her battered body was found more than three months later wrapped in garbage bags under a rock pile near Mount Forest, Ont., nearly two hours away.

In 2010, Terri-Lynne McClintic, a woman who dated Rafferty, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. The 21-year-old is serving a life sentence for the killing.

Ontario Provincial Police Det. Const. Leslie Waldron told the court that by the time investigators went to look at Rafferty's Facebook page, the California-based company had deleted it. He had opened the account in March 2007.

During cross-examination, Waldron agreed that after Rafferty updated his status on April 8, he had performed a search for an ex-girlfriend on the website. He and Alexis Lane had broken up the week before.

"We certainly don't know what was in his head (in the status update) but we certainly know he was searching for Alexis Lane," said his lawyer Dirk Derstine.

Waldron also noted Rafferty and McClintic were not Facebook friends.

On Wednesday, the jury also got an opportunity to learn more about the accused through numerous posts he had made on Facebook.

On his profile page, Rafferty, a self-described dance instructor and contractor, wrote that his most important piece of advice was to live a life without regret.

"I have only one important thing to say and that is . . . whatever you do in life. Do it right the first time because there are no second chances and everyday all day you will always wish you could go back and do it again," he had typed in all capital letters.

He also wrote that he valued friendships and that those close to him would say his "downfall" was that he "wore my heart on my sleve (sic)."

Rafferty also acknowledged struggling through difficulties in his life but did not elaborate on what these may have been.

"I think all and all I am a good person who means well," he posted. "But life has given me some short straws and sadly let the people down I care for the most and don't really know how to fix it."

In the chipper yet rambling postings, laced with misspellings and acronyms such as LOL and OMG, Rafferty called himself a fan of movies from the 1980s, Grey's Anatomy, CSI and Anne Rice vampire novels.

He also listed having gone to high school in Richmond Hill, Ont., a town north of Toronto and at that time, was living in Guelph, Ont.

Throughout Waldron's testimony, Rafferty could be seen with his head bowed and scribbling into a notepad from the prisoner's box.

He often would not even glance at the computer screen in front of him, which at one point played a slide show of his Facebook activity.

Earlier in the day, former friend Cassondra Harnum said Rafferty was a prolific Facebook user who often changed his status to reflect mundane updates such as where he was at the moment.

Before changing his status on April 8, 2009, he had posted about wanting to hang out with "old friends" and didn't understand why everyone was so busy in their lives, court heard.

At the end of the often-times highly technical testimony, Ontario Superior Justice Thomas Heeney elicited laughter from the jury box with a joke about social networking websites.

"Please resist the urge to go home and log onto Facebook and Plenty of Fish," he quipped.

Earlier in the day, the trial heard from Jessica Meloche, a 29-year-old woman who began dating Rafferty in April 2009 after meeting him on the popular online dating website.

The operations supervisor recalled a conversation they had about police questioning him in the days before his arrest on May 19, 2009.

"He felt he was guilty by association because of his friendship with Terri-Lynne," said Meloche.

The trial has heard that Rafferty, who lived with his mother in Woodstock, dated 13 women in the spring of 2009 — seven in the month of April alone including McClintic.

She has testified that the couple drove Stafford to a rural field in Mount Forest after luring her outside her school.

When they got to the isolated clearing, the young girl was repeatedly raped, she alleged.

McClintic told the court she had been the one to deliver the fatal blows to the girl's skull but that the abduction had been Raffety's idea.
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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:26 am

Rafferty was getting money from girlfriend working as escort

04/20/2012 | Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

The major, if not sole, source of income for the man accused of killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford was the thousands of dollars one of his many girlfriends earned working as an escort, court heard Friday.

Michael Rafferty was dating at least 15 women through the spring of 2009. Some just went on one or two dates with him then decided they weren't interested, but to others he was their exclusive boyfriend, they have testified.

Charity Spitzig, a 26-year-old mother of four, testified Friday that she started dating Rafferty in April 2008, and that she was thinking of him as marriage material, wanting to include him in her family. Finances were a struggle, she said, so at one point they decided she should become an escort.

"From then on in any money I was making would go directly to him," she testified at his first-degree murder trial.

Spitzig would deposit the money directly into Rafferty's bank account, records show, for a total of $16,835 from December 2008 until May 2009, when he was arrested. She would also sometimes give him cash, she said.

Court has heard that Rafferty told most of the women he was dating that he was a dance instructor and ran a contracting business, but there has been no evidence called so far about any employment he may have had. He also told one woman he had a son, and told another that he had a stepson who had died, court heard.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney gave the jury a warning about Spitzig's testimony and that of the "long line" of other women.

"All of this may lead you to conclude that Mr. Rafferty was a philandering cad or worse," Heeney said. "You cannot and you must not consider that because he has a bad character or character flaws that he is more likely to be guilty of the offences he is charged with."

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in Tori's death on April 8, 2009.

Spitzig chatted with Rafferty throughout that day, except for a one- or two-hour period when there was no response, she testified. Around 9 a.m. he told her he needed $400 for a car payment and in the early afternoon Rafferty messaged Spitzig again asking for $100 for gas money, she testified. She deposited both amounts.

Court has heard from Terri-Lynne McClintic, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Tori's death, that after they abducted Tori outside her school in Woodstock, Ont., Rafferty drove to Guelph, Ont., where he stopped at a house and bought a baggie full of Percocet pills using about $300 cash.

Surveillance footage and banking records show that Rafferty withdrew $80 around 5 p.m. from a gas station ATM in Guelph next to a Home Depot. McClintic testified that Rafferty then gave her cash and told her to go into the Home Depot and buy a hammer and garbage bags.

They also stopped at a Tim Hortons while they were in Guelph with Tori in the car, McClintic testified. Rafferty then drove to a secluded farmer's field well north of the city where he sexually assaulted the girl then McClintic "snapped" and killed her using the hammer, McClintic testified. Until shortly before the start of Rafferty's pre-trial this year McClintic had maintained Rafferty killed Tori.

In addition to chatting about money on April 8, Rafferty and Spitzig chatted about plans for the upcoming Easter weekend and birthday party plans for her twins, who are now eight years old, she testified.

Rafferty was also text messaging with another woman he was dating, Elysia Haid, 23, on April 8, mostly around noon then late at night, court heard. They were making plans to get together the next day, which they did when she stopped by his house and they had sex in the early afternoon, Haid testified.

Rafferty's lawyer, Dirk Derstine, suggested to McClintic during her cross-examination that she was the "engine" behind the events of April 8, and that Rafferty was a "horrified" and unwitting spectator to McClintic's plan to kidnap and murder a child over a drug debt. Court has heard that Tori's mother bought OxyContin from McClintic's mother on a few occasions, but both testified there was no debt.

Derstine pointed out to Haid that during her interview with police she seemed unsure as to whether they had sex on April 9 or 10, but she was adamant in testimony that it was April 9, the day before Good Friday.

Like most of the women Rafferty was dating, he met Haid through the dating website Plenty of Fish, she testified. They first met up April 4 when they went to a hockey game in London, Haid said.

That same day Rafferty also met Patrycja Demidas, 33, for coffee at about 5 p.m., she testified. Rafferty told her he was going to a hockey game and they agreed to meet up later that night for drinks, she said.

Rafferty visited her house the following day, then on April 6 she met him at a coffee shop, Demidas testified. Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey asked her what the end result was, "without getting into all the details and who said what."

"I just wanted to not see him again," Demidas testified.

He continued text messaging her on April 8 around noon, again around 8 p.m. and later at night. Demidas couldn't recall the specific content of the messages, but said they would have been arguing about the end of their relationship.

Tara McLellan, 30, also testified Friday that she went on a date with Rafferty around that time after chatting with him on Plenty of Fish. They went on a coffee date to Tim Hortons on April 1 but didn't go out again after that, she testified. He did, however, call her at 4:28 p.m. on April 8, phone records show, though McLellan doesn't remember receiving the call.

The last time McLellan heard from Rafferty was when he sent her an angry email in response to some jokes she had forwarded him, she testified.

The trial resumes Tuesday with legal arguments and the jury is set to return Wednesday to hear more evidence.

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Normal Bell manager pinpoints calls from Rafferty's cellphone

Post by raine1953 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:51 pm

LONDON, ONT. - Phone calls and texts made from Michael Rafferty’s BlackBerry on the day Victoria 'Tori' Stafford disappeared was the focus of his murder trial Thursday.

Jurors were shown a map covering Woodstock, Guelph and Mount Forest, Ont., tracking the calls made from his BlackBerry on April 8, 2009.

The timing and locations of the calls roughly correspond to testimony given earlier in the trial by Terri-Lynne McClintic, one of Rafferty’s former girlfriends, who has already been convicted of Tori's murder.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm in the April 8, 2009, disappearance of eight-year-old Tori.

David Broad, a Bell Canada Enterprises manager, testified on the technical aspects of Bell Mobility cellular.

The network keeps records on the number of the cellphone calling, the number called, the time and duration, and the cell towers used to relay the signal.

Using information provided by Bell, the police were able to determine that calls from Rafferty’s cellphone were made from the Mount Forest area on the day Tori disappeared and the location of the cell towers were used to narrow the search for her body.

Broad said Bell officials were able to map the voice and data calls placed from Rafferty’s phone.

The calls started in the Woodstock-Drumbo area just after noon on April 8.

Voice and data calls made around 4 p.m. from the Cambridge and Guelph areas.

More calls were made from the Mount Forest/Arthur area just before 6 p.m and again around 8 p.m.

Finally, there were calls from Drumbo-Woodstock after 11 p.m.

Mustafa Bahktyar, a Bell engineer, said tests showed the cell network was working well between Woodstock and Mount Forest on April 8, 2009.

But under cross-examination by defence lawyer Dirk Derstine, Bahktyar said it can be difficult to pinpoint the location of a BlackBerry user from cell tower data because there a number of variables such as local geography and network traffic.

There was also testimony by two employees of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.

RIM analyst Jennifer Youngs presented a long list of BlackBerry Messages (BBM) made from Rafferty’s cellphone to other BlackBerry users.

There were 5,800 entries for Rafferty between April 8 and May 19, although one message can produce up to seven entries on the log.

RIM manager Reginald Wilton explained the workings of the BBM system and how delays in delivering messages occur.

McClintic has testified Rafferty removed the battery from his BlackBerry at one point after Tory was abducted.

The trial continues Friday.
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Normal Blatchford: Shortly after Tori's death, Rafferty busy juggling sex calendar

Post by raine1953 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:05 pm

The death of the cheerful little girl named Victoria (Tori) Stafford appears to have had virtually no impact upon Michael Rafferty and to have been an utterly unremarkable event in his frenetic sexual calendar.

Certainly, as Rafferty was before Tori's kidnapping and death — carousing like a rabbit, living off the avails of one young woman and using her money to buy presents for others, juggling more than a dozen women like balls in the air, constantly working his BlackBerry to make the next connection that might satisfy what was clearly an omnivorous appetite — so was he after it.
continue reading at:http://www.canada.com/technology/Blatchford+Shortly+after+Tori+death+Rafferty+busy+juggling+calendar/6494217/story.html#ixzz1snl45TFY
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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 Wrapitup on Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:51 pm

Crown concludes case against Rafferty with evidence about his car

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press Apr 26, 2012 19:08:00 PM

LONDON, Ont. - The car allegedly used to abduct Victoria Stafford was an assortment of poorly installed or oddly fashioned modifications, and it was those unique features the Crown used Thursday to link to video of a car repeatedly driving past Tori's school as the last evidence in its case.

After eight weeks, 61 witnesses and 186 exhibits, the Crown concluded its case Thursday against Michael Rafferty. It will be in the defence's hands on Tuesday.
The last images Crown attorneys left the jury with were all the relevant surveillance footage collected, largely from April 8, 2009, the day Tori vanished outside her elementary school in Woodstock, Ont.


On that day, a car believed to be Rafferty's is seen driving past Oliver Stephens Public School at 9:04 a.m.

It is seen there again at 3:05 p.m.

It is at a nearby gas station at 3:20 p.m., then drives by the school one last time at 3:30 p.m. A car believed to be the same one pulls into the parking lot of a retirement home up the street.

Two minutes later, Rafferty's girlfriend Terri-Lynne McClintic walks past the same spot with Tori. They're seen on video crossing the street and entering the retirement home parking lot.

One minute later, a tiny image of a car believed to be Rafferty's can be seen driving away from that area.
The car alleged to be Rafferty's arrives 1 1/2 hours later at a Home Depot parking lot in Guelph, Ont. A person wearing a white top gets out of the car and walks toward a neighbouring gas station. Rafferty, wearing a white shirt, is captured on the gas station's interior camera walking toward the ATM, and records show he withdrew $80.

The person wearing white returns to the car in question and it drives closer in the parking lot to the Home Depot. McClintic hops out of the passenger side of the car, goes into the store, purchases garbage bags and a hammer — the murder weapon — then returns to the car.

The last shot is the car pulling out of the vast parking lot and heading toward the highway.

The Crown alleges Rafferty then drove north to a rural area, where there were no more surveillance cameras to capture his movements, and it was in a secluded farmer's field that Tori was raped and killed.

The surveillance camera footage largely accords with McClintic's version of events from that day — she would later confess and is now serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.

But as their last witness the Crown looked to Gerald Lanna, a forensic video analyst with the Ontario Provincial Police, for more certainty about what is seen on the footage.

The best quality video of the car, at the first gas station at 3:20 p.m., left Lanna with the most certainty. The blotchy black paint job over most of the blue car, the whitewashed interior, the dark rims, the rear spoiler and the off-centre air intake on the hood of the car were several features of Rafferty's 2003 Honda Civic that match those on the video.

"To me, I would have to say that that's our vehicle," Lanna testified.

In the other videos, where the "vehicle of interest" drives past Tori's school three times and where it waits for McClintic in the Home Depot parking lot, detail in the image was lacking, so the best Lanna could say was that he could find no differences between Rafferty's car and the one on the video.

Police went to Honda to ask about the "hood scoop" or air intake on the hood of Rafferty's car and discovered it was not a Honda option. The company said it would be "quite unusual" for a factory or dealer to install such a scoop because of its negative impact in crash tests, Lanna testified.

Rafferty's lawyer Dirk Derstine questioned Lanna in cross-examination about his conclusions, in particular the uniqueness of the features of Rafferty's car. Alone they would not be considered unique, but all together they make the car stand out, Lanna said. The "hood scoop" would be an especially rare feature, he said.
"If you open the hood of that vehicle ... it looks like it almost was self-installed," Lanna said. "I don't think a reputable dealer would put a hood scoop in like that...It was just put in by a person like me that doesn't have that type of skill."

Lanna determined the car on all three videos near the school is the same make of vehicle by laying the images over each other. He agreed under Derstine's sharp cross-examination that he could not say for certain that they are each the exact same car.
Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in Stafford's death.

McClintic, who confessed to abducting Tori and implicated Rafferty in the murder, was the Crown's star witness, testifying over six days about what she says happened that day.

Up until the trial, McClintic maintained Rafferty killed Tori, but while she testified that she had actually killed the girl, other details of her story remained the same, such as saying that Rafferty urged her to kidnap a young girl and that he sexually assaulted Tori.

Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey told the nine women and three men of the jury in his opening address that it is not necessary for them to determine who exactly did what, but whether Rafferty and McClintic acted together to bring about the girl's death.

The trial, which began March 5, got off to an emotional start as Tori's Grade 3 teacher Jennifer Griffin-Murrell wept while describing the "lovely" little girl's last day at school, spent jumping in puddles and researching plants on a computer.

"She was a caring little girl, very sensitive," Griffin-Murrell told the trial two months ago. "She was kind of like a mother hen to a lot of the younger kids in the (the split Grade 2/3) class. She always wanted to help."

Griffin-Murrell said Tori was inquisitive, well-liked and was "obsessed" with the TV show "Hannah Montana."
Tori was wearing a "Hannah Montana" T-Shirt the day she died. When her remains were found 103 days later near Mount Forest, Ont., she was wearing nothing else.

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Normal Rafferty will not take stand in his own defence

Post by Wrapitup on Tue May 01, 2012 11:17 am

CTVNews.ca Staff
Date: Tue. May. 1 2012 11:56 AM ET

The man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault and murder in the death of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford will not be taking the stand in his own defence.

Lawyer Dirk Derstine made the plan clear when he called just one defence witness before wrapping his case Tuesday morning. The witness, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was not the 31-year-old accused Michael Rafferty.

Instead, Derstine called a 60-year-old woman to testify about her regular weekday routine picking up her grandchildren from the Oliver Stephens Public School in Woodstock, Ont. where Victoria Stafford was last seen alive.

Recounting events on the April 2009 day when Stafford went missing, the witness told the court she saw a woman with a white coat entering the school and later walking away with what appeared to be a happy young girl.

Although the girl was skipping and chatting, the witness said twice that the woman in the white coat had a stern look on her face and appeared to be "on a mission."

In her testimony, the woman said she had no reason to believe anything was wrong at the time.

"I assumed the person that she was talking to might have been her mother," she said.

Under cross-examination, Crown attorney Michael Carnegie noted that the witness only caught a "fleeting glance" of the woman and Tori as she drove past.

Surveillance footage made public by investigators in the weeks after Stafford's disappearance showed a woman in a white coat who was later identified as Terri-Lynne McClintic.

McClintic is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in Tori's death two years ago.

Before wrapping its case last week, the Crown called 61 witnesses and presented nearly 200 pieces of evidence in its case against the 31-year-old accused.

Prosecutors allege Rafferty and McClintic both kidnapped the Grade 3 girl from outside her school on April 8, 2009, before taking her to a remote location where she was sexually assaulted, beaten to death and buried under a pile of rocks.

In its account of events, the defence has painted Rafferty as an unwilling accomplice in a crime instigated by McClintic to repay a drug debt.

In her testimony, McClintic contradicted that version of events.

McClintic testified that Rafferty urged her to kidnap a young girl. Stafford happened to be alone, she said, testifying that's why she lured Stafford from the school to a car where Rafferty was waiting. All three then hit the road, she said, stopping to buy drugs, a hammer and garbage bags on their way to the field in Mount Alison where Stafford's beaten, partially naked body was found buried under a pile of rocks.

After originally saying Rafferty killed the girl, however, McClintic told the court that she was the one who dealt the fatal blows.

Forensic experts were unable to corroborate her claim Rafferty had repeatedly sexually assaulted Stafford, as the girl's body was too decomposed for conclusive DNA evidence.

Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to all three charges in the case against him.

The trial, which will be decided by a jury of nine women and three men, got underway March 5.

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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 Wrapitup on Tue May 01, 2012 11:39 am

Rafferty doesn't take the stand at Victoria Stafford murder trial

TUESDAY, 01 MAY 2012 09:28 THE CANADIAN PRESS

Tuesday, May 1, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins

LONDON, Ont. - A man accused in the murder of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford will not take the stand as his defence lawyer opened and closed his case today with one brief witness.

The Crown wrapped up its case against Michael Rafferty last week, and today the defence called one witness who was one of the last people to see Tori alive.

The woman, whose name can't be published, picked her grandchildren up from school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009, the day Tori was abducted.

She says she saw a woman matching Terri-Lynne McClintic's description go into the school, then later she saw her walking away with Tori, as seen on surveillance video.

McClintic, who has admitted abducting Tori and has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, testified at Rafferty's trial that Rafferty urged her to kidnap a young girl, and that she chose Tori because she spotted her outside the school all alone.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in Tori's death.

The woman testified that she believed the woman in a white coat who went into the school was the same woman she saw walking with Tori, and that she was walking quickly with a "stern" look on her face.

"(She) seemed like she was on a mission," the woman testified. "The little girl that was with her was happy, skipping, talking a mile a minute...I assumed the person that she was talking to might have been her mother."

Crown attorney Michael Carnegie questioned the woman's memory of the events of that day at length under cross-examination, specifically her recollection of the woman going into the school versus the woman walking with Tori.

Carnegie noted that when she saw the woman and the girl walking along the road outside the school it was a "fleeting glance" as she drove past.

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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 Wrapitup on Wed May 02, 2012 10:48 pm

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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 Wrapitup on Thu May 10, 2012 10:11 pm

Tori Stafford judge warns jury that lawyers’ theories aren’t evidence

The Canadian Press May 10, 2012 – 12:32 PM ET | Last Updated: May 10, 2012 12:42 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. — The jury that will soon be deliberating in the case of the man accused of killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford is being told to disregard a defence proposition.

Michael Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

His ex-girlfriend Terri-Lynne McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the case.

When she testified against him, Rafferty’s lawyer suggested to her that she was the engine behind the events of that day. He suggested there was no sexual assault and that McClintic planned to kill Tori all along, but she denied it.

Terri-Lynne McClintic pleaded guilty the first-degree murder of Tori Stafford; Michael Rafferty is facing the same charge.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney is telling the jury in his final instructions that what lawyers say isn’t evidence, and if there’s no evidence to support their suggestions, the jury should disregard them.

Heeney warned the jury on Wednesday that his instructions will be long, and may even last into Friday.

The jury that will decide Rafferty’s fate has been sitting since March 5, and the Crown wrapped up two days of closing arguments on Wednesday.

Tori Stafford judge tells jury to ‘bring a toothbrush … and pyjamas’ as murder trial deliberations set to begin
Michael Rafferty ‘leader of the operation’ to kidnap, kill Tori Stafford, Crown tells court

Christie Blatchford: ‘No evidence’ Rafferty a bystander in Tori Stafford murder, prosecutor says

The Crown alleges that he and McClintic kidnapped Tori outside her school in Woodstock, Ont., then they drove to a rural area where Rafferty raped the girl and she was killed.

Since her confession in May 2009, McClintic had maintained that Rafferty killed the girl she abducted for his sexual pleasure. Citing an unwillingness to testify against Rafferty, McClintic began saying days before the start of his trial that she was the true killer.

McClintic testified she once told Rafferty she would take the fall if they were caught. That change in her testimony could be the fulfillment of the promise she once made to Rafferty, who she said laughed that she would do anything for a little bit of love, Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey told the jury.

“Ladies and gentlemen, don’t let that happen,” he said in his closing address Wednesday. “Terri-Lynne McClintic is a convicted murderer. She belongs where she is, but as she says, she’s not the only guilty party in this courtroom. On April 8 (2009) they were in this from start to finish…and they’re guilty from start to finish.”

McClintic, who testified that she wanted so desperately to have found a decent guy, was willing to do anything for Rafferty, Gowdey said, including procuring a young girl for him. Maybe, he said, she was even willing to kill for him.

“Mr. Rafferty’s life was full of many partners,” Gowdey said, referencing an endless stream of ex-girlfriends who testified.

“He picked the right partner for this enterprise. You could possibly decide that after he was done what he wanted to do with the child sexually, he turned to McClintic, the violent one, the Lucifer who was ready to do his bidding, because he knew they couldn’t take Tori back.”

The jury might conclude Rafferty was the killer, as McClintic maintained for so long, or they might conclude McClintic was the killer, Gowdey said, but he cast doubt on her assertion that she snapped after seeing Rafferty rape the child, flew into a rage and killed her.

Gowdey expressed skepticism that this fit of homicidal rage would include taking the step of tying a garbage bag over Tori’s head before striking her several times in the head with a hammer.

If the jury is satisfied that Rafferty and McClintic each played roles as a “terrible team” to abduct and kill Tori Stafford, it doesn’t matter who they think wielded the hammer, Gowdey said.

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Normal Jury begins deliberations in Michael Rafferty murder trial

Post by Wrapitup on Fri May 11, 2012 1:39 am

BY LINDA NGUYEN, POSTMEDIA NEWS MAY 10, 2012

LONDON, Ont. — Victoria Stafford's fate was decided in a desolate Ontario field — where the eight-year-old girl was killed with multiple crushing blows from a hammer.

Now, more than three years after her death, the fate of her accused killer, Michael Rafferty, lies in the hands of 12 jurors in a London courtroom.

The nine-female, three-male jury was sequestered around 5:40 p.m. Thursday following extensive instructions from Ontario Superior Justice Thomas Heeney.

The jury will deliberate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day until they reach a decision.


To arrive at their verdict, the judge urged them to use "common sense" when reviewing the overwhelming amount of circumstantial and direct evidence presented during the high-profile trial.

"It is my job to help you make a decision, not to tell you what decision to make," said Heeney in his instructions.

Since beginning on March 5, trial participants have heard from 62 witnesses and viewed 190 exhibits entered as evidence.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

Two years ago, Rafferty's ex-girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Stafford's death. The 21-year-old was sentenced to life in prison.

Stafford vanished outside an elementary school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009.

Her badly bludgeoned body was found on July 19, 2009, wrapped in garbage bags and buried under a rock pile in a field near Mount Forest, Ont., more than two hours north of where she was last seen.

The little girl was found wearing a Hannah Montana T-shirt and no pants or underwear.

Heeney cautioned jurors that their decision should not be based on the horrific nature of the crimes or any sympathy they might feel for the young girl or her family.

"It is your duty to rise above emotional considerations and dispassionately decide this case based solely on the evidence," he said.

Much of the judge's charge was spent explaining the options the jury has before them.

He told them they could decide if Rafferty is guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter if they believe he was the one who wielded the hammer, or helped or encouraged McClintic to kill the child.

Rafferty can be found guilty of first-degree murder only if the jury believes Stafford's murder was planned and deliberate, or occurred during the course of a sexual assault or abduction.

They also must decide if Rafferty raped Stafford, which McClintic alleges, and whether he was aware he was participating in her confinement, said Heeney.

Rafferty also could be acquitted of all or some of the charges against him if the jury does not feel the Crown have proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The intricate legal reasoning behind these conclusions were laid out in "decision trees" or diagrams that were passed out to the jury to help them reach their verdict.

From the start, prosecutors have contended that Rafferty and McClintic were part of a "murderous duo" whose "calculated" decisions led to the death of the bubbly, blond girl.

During six days on the stand, McClintic testified in disturbing detail for the Crown against her former lover.

She told the court she was the woman in the white ski jacket seen walking with the girl on surveillance video after school on April 8, 2009.

That day, she said she was dropped off at the school by Rafferty and told to get someone young, because they would be easier to manipulate.

Stafford was the first girl she saw.

That day was supposed to be the first time she was to walk home by herself.

McClintic approached the girl and asked her if she liked dogs, and whether she was interested in meeting a Shih Tzu named Precious.

As the two walked towards Rafferty's car, which was parked down the street at a nearby nursing home, McClintic told the girl to call her "T." As they crossed the street, McClintic said the child grabbed her hand.

When they got to the car, she shoved Stafford inside and made her crouch on the floor of the vehicle, covered her with a black pea coat.

"Keep her f---ing covered," Rafferty allegedly yelled at McClintic as they drove out of Woodstock along Highway 401.

When they arrived in Guelph, Ont., Rafferty went into a friend's house to buy drugs.

They then drove to a Home Depot where McClintic got out buy an hammer and garbage bags.

Surveillance video played in court showed the young woman walk idly in the aisles of the construction store, and casually pays for an orange handle hammer and box of green garbage bags at a self-check counter.

They then made their way to a secluded clearing near Mount Forest.

Up a dirt laneway, and away from the main road and homes, it was there where Stafford was repeatedly raped, according to McClintic's testimony.

"I knew what was going to happen and I didn't want to be there for what was going to happen," she told the court in a wavering voice.

McClintic said she heard screams coming from the car as she stood about 10 to 15 feet away in the snow.

At one point, Rafferty called her back to the car and took the girl away from him so she could use the washroom. She testified that she saw blood drip onto the snow from the young girl's privates.

When she was done, the girl begged her to stay with her. McClintic brought the girl back to the car and tried to hold her hand as the sexual assault continued, she told the court.

It was too much for bear and she left, abandoning the girl.

But the screams forced her to look back and recall her own childhood molestation.

"I realized I needed to do something," she testified on March 13, her low voice breaking.

"When I turned to the vehicle, when I saw what was going on, all I saw was myself when I was that age and all the anger and hate and rage that I had . . . that I built up towards myself came boiling out of me."

After Rafferty was finished, Tori was "tossed" on the ground outside the car.

That was when she decided to put a garbage bag over the little girl's head before wielding the hammer. At the time, Tori was only wearing a Hannah Montana T-shirt and did not have on any pants or shoes.

Rafferty had already told her that Tori was going to pose a problem for them.

"We can't just keep her and we can't take her back," McClintic recalled him saying.

Until January 2012, she had maintained that it was Rafferty who had kicked, stomped and fatally struck the girl multiple times in the skull with a hammer.

The defence argues there is no evidence to prove that Rafferty urged McClintic to take the child for his sexual pleasure or that he knew he was literally driving the girl to her death.

McClintic was repeatedly attacked by the defence for being a drug-addicted, troubled young women with a propensity for violence. Both sides have agreed that parts of her testimony may have been fabricated.

Justice Heeney reminded jurors that Rafferty's character should not be a factor in the case. This was presented in court when more than a dozen girlfriends testified about his behaviour in the days and weeks following Stafford's death.

"No jury will ever be in a better position to decide upon the facts of this case than you," he told them.

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Post by Guest on Fri May 11, 2012 7:59 am

Heeney cautioned jurors that their decision should not be based on the horrific nature of the crimes or any sympathy they might feel for the young girl or her family.

"It is your duty to rise above emotional considerations and dispassionately decide this case based solely on the evidence," he said.
I would not make a good juror. I feel sympathy for the family and for Tori. No way could I ignore the horrific nature of this crime.
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Normal Rafferty found guilty of first-degree murder in death of Victoria Stafford

Post by Wrapitup on Sat May 12, 2012 10:50 am

The Canadian Press May 12, 2012 09:14:46 AM
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A jury has found Michael Rafferty guilty of all counts in the abduction, rape and killing of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford.

Rafferty, 31, had pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in the April 2009 death.

Judge Thomas Heeney commended the jury for taking its time and reaching a verdict that was ``just and amply supported by the evidence.''

There was a huge sigh of relief from Tori's family as the verdict was read.

Her mother Tara McDonald burst into tears.

Rafferty closed his eyes with no visible expression.

The Crown said Rafferty and girlfriend Terri-Lynne McClintic kidnapped Stafford outside her school in Woodstock, Ont., then drove to a rural area where the girl was raped and killed.

McClintic, who pleaded guilty two years ago to first-degree murder, initially told police Rafferty killed the girl, but testified at his trial that she delivered the fatal blows.

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Normal Woodstock 'relieved' by Rafferty verdict, mayor says

Post by Wrapitup on Sat May 12, 2012 10:57 am

Sat May 12, 11:10 AM
CTVNews.ca Staff

Victoria Stafford will always be remembered in her hometown of Woodstock, Ont., Mayor Pat Sobeski told reporters on Saturday morning.

He expressed relief that her murder trial ended Friday night with a guilty verdict for 31-year-old Michael Rafferty and called the jury's unanimous finding "just."

"The community is relieved," Sobeski said, adding it felt as if the city had been living under a cloud ever since Stafford was abducted from her schoolyard and brutally killed.

Rafferty, 31, has been found guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping in the eight-year-old's death. He was also found guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm.

He will be sentenced Tuesday. Family members will also read victim impact statements at that time.

Rafferty had no reaction as the charges were read. He stood silent, looking at the court's foreman.

One female juror started crying as the charges were read out.

Meanwhile, spectators in the courtroom, including members of Victoria's family, cried and hugged. Some pumped their fists in the air and clapped as the charges were read out.

Tara McDonald, Victoria's mother, stood up and hugged her 14-year-old son, Darin, before leaving the court.

Rafferty took off his tie and unbuttoned his shirt before being led out of the court.

After the verdict was read, Victoria's grandmother Doreen Graichen stood by her son, Rodney, thanking members of the Crown for their efforts.

"It makes me feel like I can breathe again," Graichen said. "Tori has justice, and that's all we ever wanted."

Outside the court, Victoria's uncle, Mark Perry, clutched the last photo taken of Victoria before her murder. He said it was now time for the family and the citizens of Woodstock to heal.

"We're glad it's over but we still got a lot of healing to do," Perry said.

Jim McDonald, Victoria's grandfather, told CP24 that he hugged members of the jury after the verdict was read out.

"They're a great bunch of people," he said. "It was just fantastic, it was just like someone lifted something right off our shoulders."

While Rafferty showed little emotion, his defence lawyer Dirk Derstine said he thinks his client deserved a fair trial, no matter what the charges against him were.

"The reality of it is, everyone in our system deserves a strong proper and effective defence," Derstine said. "It's easy enough to say just because we empathize with a child, and who could not empathize with a child, and who could not empathize with the family, but on the other hand, Michael Rafferty is somebody's child too."

Derstine said it's still too early to talk about an appeal.

Throughout the trial, the Crown maintained that Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic, his former girlfriend, kidnapped eight-year-old Tori outside her school in Woodstock, Ont., then drove her to an isolated area where she was raped and killed with a hammer in April 2009.

McClintic, who already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Tori's death, was one of the key witnesses in Rafferty's trial.

What the jury did not hear during the lengthy trial that began earlier this year was that when Rafferty was arrested outside a Woodstock, Ont., health club in May 2009, police seized his car and inside it was his BlackBerry as well as a laptop.

Police eventually got a warrant to search the Honda Civic, but a separate warrant for the electronics was never requested.

During a pre-trial hearing, Justice Heeney threw out any evidence found on the computer and phone, noting that the police conduct was "careless."

Police also found an Internet search history on Rafferty's laptop showing that it was used to make several queries about underage rape in the months before Tori was abducted and killed.

A forensic search also showed that the movie "Karla," a re-telling of the school-girl murders committed by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka in the early 1990s, was also accessed on the laptop.

Another laptop hard-drive, found in a plastic bag behind a dresser in Rafferty's Woodstock home, which contained child pornography, was also ruled "inadmissible" because there wasn't a proper search warrant.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat May 12, 2012 11:01 am

By Allison Jones, The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press – 7 hours ago

LONDON, Ont. - Victoria Stafford's father clutched her Grade 3 school picture — taken the day before his little girl was abducted, sexually assaulted and brutally murdered — and he held it above the jostling cameras after one of Tori's killers was brought to justice for the terrible crime.

"It was all for this little girl right here," Rodney Stafford said, holding back tears. "Not just Tori, but for every little child in Canada that doesn't deserve what happened to her."

Michael Rafferty, 31, who spent much of his trial rolling his eyes at evidence or muttering to himself, was far less animated late Friday night after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping. Rafferty simply closed his eyes, sat down, and leaned his head against the wall of the prisoner's box.

His sentencing is scheduled to begin next Tuesday.

A life behind bars now awaits Rafferty — first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. It's the same fate Terri-Lynne McClintic, the other half of the "murderous duo," as the Crown called them, accepted two years ago when she plead guilty to first-degree murder.

Evidence that was kept from the jury about Rafferty's sordid sexual appetites, past bickering amongst members of Tori's family, and lingering questions about whether Rafferty or McClintic dealt the death blows, all faded away as the last known photo of Tori was raised above the din of the post-verdict courthouse commotion.

"I wanted to scream, scream something in the courtroom, but we just couldn't do it," Rodney Stafford said. "Happy, excitement, but at the same time there was a sense of loss because Tori's not coming home. But we got it. We got the justice."

It has been a long road for Tori's family filled not with ups and downs but rather plummets and plateaus. The first hours and days after Tori vanished at 3:32 p.m. on April 8, 2009, were filled with panic. The days then turned into weeks with no real news, until the family's worst fears were confirmed on May 19, when police told them 18-year-old McClintic had confessed, and that Tori was dead.

It would be two more months of being told that Tori was dead, but having no body to fully convince them, especially her father. Then on July 19, a police officer finally found Tori's badly beaten and severely decomposed remains, wrapped in garbage bags and buried under a pile of rocks in a secluded farmer's field near Mount Forest, Ont.

The body had been hidden about 130 kilometres from Tori's home in Woodstock, Ont., where she was last captured on surveillance video, walking away from school with a slight bounce in her step, and McClintic at her side.

Little more than a year after McClintic lured Tori to her death she pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and revealed sickening details about what she said Rafferty did to the child. The courtroom was packed with family, investigators and reporters, but the veil of secrecy the judge imposed to ensure a fair trial prevented even a whisper of the proceedings from being published.

About seven months after Tori's family heard the awful details of her last hours, the publication ban was partially lifted, and the circumstances surrounding her abduction, as well as McClintic's admitted involvement, became public information.

Then, on March 5 of this year Rafferty's trial began, and the Stafford family had to suffer through agonizing testimony that returned them to their darkest days. Many of them sat through the entire trial, bearing witness to the details of Tori's brutal last moments.
It was alleged that Rafferty's sexual gratification was the motive for murder, but the jury didn't know there was evidence that he had sought out child pornography videos and made dozens of searches for images of violent child rape.

Months of decomposition also destroyed any hope of finding scientific evidence of rape. But the jurors still concluded that Tori, who was found naked from the waist down with most of her ribs fractured and her skull shattered by hammer blows, had been sexually assaulted.

McClintic told the trial a horrifying story of a drug-addled couple abducting a young girl at random for the man's sexual pleasure, then killing her with almost inconceivable brutality.

The Crown suggested Rafferty used McClintic, who was no stranger to violence but also desperate to believe she had finally found a good man, as a pawn to do his perverse bidding.

McClintic testified relatively early in the trial, and though much of it was interrupted by various legal motions, her story was still gut-churning. Her cross-examination revealed a chilling side to the "bloodthirsty" young woman when Rafferty's lawyer read several letters McClintic wrote to a jailhouse friend in which she detailed her fantasies about torturing people.

Rafferty himself remained largely an enigma to the jury, as the only glimpse of his personality came toward the end of the trial when a stream of former girlfriends took the stand. Twenty-two women, including 15 he dated in the spring of 2009, were called to testify about things he'd told them and the state of his car.

If the sheer volume of past girlfriends didn't shock the jury, testimony from the longest serving girlfriend certainly might have. Charity Spitzig, a mother of four, said that in the six months before he was arrested in May 2009, she gave Rafferty $16,835.

Though the Crown explained without the jury present that Spitzig had been instructed not to say where the money came from, she nevertheless testified that she earned it working as an escort.

And while that was just the tip of the iceberg of information police had reflecting Rafferty in a very poor light, it was all the jury actually heard.

Heeney ruled the search of Rafferty's laptop unconstitutional, so jurors did not know there was evidence that he'd done Internet searches for "real underage rape," "nude preteen," and other queries suggestive of a sexual interest in children. They also didn't know that police found evidence Rafferty had downloaded "substantial" amounts of child pornography and snuff films, including one with a title indicating it involved a child.

A lot of material deemed "bad character" evidence was kept from the jurors because of the legal principle that just because someone is a bad person, it doesn't necessarily mean they committed the offence in question.

A woman Rafferty met online alleged in a police report that he drugged, choked and raped her, but he was never charged. In fact, several of his dates said Rafferty had a penchant for sexual choking. Some also complained of his "disconcerting" behaviour toward their children, the Crown said.

No one will ever know whether the jurors believed it was Rafferty or McClintic who wielded the hammer, whether they thought the abduction was random or targeted, or whether the sequence of events was planned — but the end result was the same for Tori.
As seen on grainy surveillance video, the eight-year-old wearing her mom's butterfly earrings was unwittingly led to her death on that sunny April day with a skip in her step.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat May 12, 2012 11:04 am

The Canadian Press Fri May 11 2012
Tori Stafford: Michael Rafferty guilty of brutal murder

LONDON, Ont. - Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

Michael Rafferty was found guilty of first-degree murder, abduction and sexual assault of little Tori Stafford after a gut-wrenching, 10-week trial.

As the first verdict, for first-degree murder, was read out Friday night, Tori’s family reacted with tears and a resounding “yes.” Rodney Stafford, Tori’s father, held hands with his mother and his girlfriend, and cried openly, as did Tori’s mother, Tara McDonald, who sat a few feet away with her partner.

Veteran police officers including Bill Renton and Mike Bickerton, who have been on the case for three years, had tears in their eyes.

Rafferty did not show any emotion, did not get up from the bench in the prisoner’s box as the jury left the courtroom after delivering the verdict.

Outside the courthouse, where dozens of reporters and people waited, there were loud cheers and whoops of joy as Rodney Stafford walked out flanked by family.

“We got justice,” he said.

He said he wanted to scream in the courtroom but could not do it. “There was excitement but at the same time, a sense of loss as Tori is not coming home.”

McDonald did not talk to reporters. Her boyfriend, James Goris, said “thank God” as they left the court.

Crowns lawyers Kevin Gowdey, Michael Carnegie, Brian Crockett and Stephanie Venne came out to briefly talk to reporters and were clearly emotional. Gowdey called it an “unprecedented investigation, thorough and extremely professional.”

Rafferty’s lawyer, Dirk Derstine, said his client was disappointed with the verdict, which came at 9:30. Earlier, the sequestered jurors returned to the courtroom with four questions for the judge, each related to sexual assault.

Tori, 8, disappeared while on her way home from school in Woodstock on April 8, 2009. Terri-Lynne McClintic and Rafferty, then lovers, were arrested and charged a month later. Tori’s body was found near Mount Forest in July. McClintic pleaded guilty in April 2010 and was sentenced to life in prison.

Rafferty, 31, had pleaded not guilty to all three counts. His trial started on March 5 in London and saw its share of drama.

The most explosive moment came with McClintic, the Crown’s star witness. She had initially told investigators she lured Tori at Rafferty’s behest and that he raped and killed the child. But she dramatically changed that statement in January, and at trial testified it was she, not Rafferty, who killed Tori. She maintained the rest was true, that he had pushed her into abducting Tori and that he had raped the child.

The Crown still based its case on McClintic’s testimony, arguing that it did not matter who wielded the hammer that killed Tori, that they were both equally guilty. The Crown also maintained that Rafferty orchestrated the events of April 8, 2009 and that McClintic was just his “violent pawn.”

The Crown called 61 witnesses, filed 185 exhibits and closed its case on April 27.

In closing arguments, Derstine attacked McClintic’s credibility, calling her a prolific and accomplished liar and saying she was the driving force behind Tori’s abduction and murder. He said McClintic abducted Tori for a drug debt and offered her to Rafferty sexually, but that he said no. Derstine said McClintic then killed her in a fit of rage.

Rafferty, who spent most days in the courtroom listening attentively to testimony, did not testify.

As the ghastly trial rolled on, sordid details emerged about Rafferty: his womanizing, his drug use, how he pimped off one of his girlfriends and lived off the avails of prostitution.

There were some tense moments, and some poignant ones. Through it all, Tori was not forgotten.

The 4-foot-5, 62-pound girl, with cropped blond hair and a button nose on an elfin face. The little girl who hopped and ran instead of walking.

Her family was a constant presence in the courtroom. Her father, mother, grandparents, aunts and uncles showed up every day and all wore purple in some form — a shirt, a tie, a ribbon, a wristband. Something purple.

Purple was Tori’s favourite colour.

When Rafferty’s trial started on March 5, Rodney Stafford told reporters he wouldn’t let anyone forget Tori and he kept that promise: he held a media scrum every day of the trial to talk about her.

Tori’s mother once said those who knew Tori came under her spell.

The little girl stole everyone’s heart, even in death. Veteran police officers lost their composure on the stand, while spectators, mostly strangers, shed tears when they heard testimony about her.

That was Tori.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat May 12, 2012 11:07 am

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Rodney Stafford, father of slain Victoria Stafford holds a photo of his daughter as celebrates with his mother Doreen Graichen after Michael Rafferty was found guilty on all three charges at the murder trial in London, Ontario, Friday, May 11, 2012. Rafferty, 31, silently closed his eyes but showed no other visible signs of emotion as jurors also declared him guilty of kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm in the little girl's April 2009 death -- a verdict Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney called ``just and amply supported by the evidence.''THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat May 12, 2012 11:12 am

It is w/Great Pleasure moving this thread to "CONVICTED"!!

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat May 12, 2012 2:13 pm

Sat May 12, 12:56 PM
Rafferty verdict 'lifted a cloud' in Woodstock, Ont.
John Size | CTVNews.ca

The small southwestern Ontario community of Woodstock has come out from under a cloud that's hovered ominously above it since eight-year-old Victoria Stafford disappeared three years ago, its mayor said Saturday.

Mayor Pat Sobeski said the sun is now shining - even with a few clouds still overhead - and the town will take that as "a symbol that it's time to begin the healing process."

That process was enabled after a jury convicted 31-year-old Michael Rafferty, the second person accused in the little girl's brutal murder, on Friday around 9:20 p.m. on all three counts against him, including first-degree murder.

"The community is relieved to hear the verdict and to know the trial is finally over," Sobeski told reporters in Woodstock.

He credited the various police services, including his own, for diligent work since Stafford disappeared from Oliver Stephens Public School on April 8, 2009.

Her body was found months later buried in garbage bags under a pile of rocks in an isolated field near Mount Forest, Ont.

"As the case moved from a search to a murder investigation of a child, these professionals knew that the steps along the way, that their training talents and skills, would eventually be placed under a microscope for all to reveal and observe," Sobeski said.

"I know that every officer, every member of the civilian staff were all (affected) personally in one way or another with their participation in this case because after all they're parents and grandparents too," he said.

Rafferty's former girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, 21, was also convicted of first-degree murder in Stafford's death.

Court heard that McClintic lured the little girl from the school to a waiting car driven by Rafferty, a haunting scene captured on security video that was played over and over again in the media.

She's serving a life sentence for the killing and testified at Rafferty's trial that she was the one who killed Stafford with a hammer after Rafferty had raped the little girl.

Sobeski also thanked the judge, prosecutors and the jury for their attention to detail, referring to the verdict as "fair and just."

"Their (jury) careful attention during the past 10 or 11 weeks will have again restored the confidence citizens should feel about our justice system," he said.

The abduction and eventual murder of Stafford, from what should have been considered a safe haven in the eyes of many parents -- an elementary school in rural Ontario -- had a profound effect on many people, Sobeski said.

Parents were forced to second guess how they would let their children grow up; when it was time to cut the "proverbial apron strings" and pressured to rethink their child's safety at school.

The more stark reality that shook parents to the core was the fact the Stafford case made them think – at least in the backs of their minds – that there "are indeed evil people in the community," Sobeski said.

"We share a collective accountability to work harder to make our community safer," he said.

"We cannot ignore the challenges, like every community we have issues with drugs, we have issues with domestic violence, but we can seize the opportunity as the city moves forward," the mayor said.

Sobeski also said the innocence of Stafford will inspire the community to rise to those challenges and Woodstock would always "lovingly remember her."

The town's police chief, whose service came under intense scrutiny in the media in the early days of the case, expressed relief over the conviction.

"This is the first morning in just over three years that I've been able to wake up and have some sense of closure to this terrible, horrific investigation now that we have convicted the second of two child killers that traumatized our community," Rod Freeman said Saturday, standing beside his mayor.

"My hope is that conviction brings some sense of peace to her so that she can now rest in peace, certainly rest in peace now in dignity," he said.

More than 1,000 police officers, 440 support personnel and 14 police services contributed to the investigation, he said.

"It's a bittersweet experience because we are very pleased with those convictions, but at the same time we truly wish in our hearts, every single one of us never had to be here in the first place," he said.

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Normal Tori Stafford's family celebrates as Rafferty found guilty on all charges

Post by Wrapitup on Sat May 12, 2012 3:17 pm

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LONDON, ONT.— Globe and Mail Update
Published Friday, May. 11, 2012 9:31PM EDT
Last updated Saturday, May. 12, 2012 12:57AM EDT

Warning: This story contains graphic content

Elation swept through London’s downtown courthouse and spilled out into the street Friday evening as a jury convicted Michael Rafferty of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and murdering eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford.

Spectators hugged and burst into applause, passing motorists honked their horns and Tori’s parents both wept after Mr. Rafferty stood in the prisoner’s box and listened to the foreman pronounce him guilty on all three counts shortly after 9 p.m.

As Rodney Stafford, Tori’s father, stepped from the courthouse into a warm spring evening, he was mobbed by supporters and cheered: “Yeah!”

“We got it. We got justice!” he said, his eyes welling up with tears as he held up a photograph of his daughter. “And it was all for this little girl right here. And not just for Tori but for every little child in Canada who doesn’t deserve what happened to her. Victoria!”

Doreen Graichan, Rodney's mother, added that she knew “from the heart” that the right verdict would be reached.

“It’s amazing, just amazing. Everybody has been so wonderful.”

Tori’s mother, Tara McDonald, embraced family members and seemed overcome with emotion. She made no comment afterward, but was visibly elated by the verdict.

Many others in the packed courtroom were also crying, including some of the police, jurors and numerous members of the public. Even Tori’s brother, Daryn, was present.

Gasps of approval rippled through the courtroom as each of the verdicts was read out.

In an overflow courtroom where others watched by video link, spectators burst into applause at each guilty verdict.

The hearing lasted less than 10 minutes.

Mr. Rafferty, for his part, listened stoically to the verdicts. But as each individual juror was called to confirm their support for the convictions, he leaned his head back and his eyes filled with tears.

He will face an automatic sentence of life imprisonment with little chance of parole for 25 years for the first-degree murder charge. The formal sentencing will take place Tuesday morning when victim impact statements will be heard and he will have an opportunity to address the court.

Outside on a concrete plaza in front of the court house, spectators applauded as the four prosecutors walked out.

“We're happy with the verdict,” said Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey. “We want to thank the jury for their dedication.”

Referencing the gruelling, 10-week trial, he said: “it’s a day of mixed emotions, it's been long ... we believe that justice has been served.”

The officer who led the investigation, Ontario Provincial Police Inspector Bill Renton, praised the media for its assistance and lauded the “difficult job” the jury had to do. He stressed that the investigation involved numerous police agencies an “amazing Crown team.”

Mr. Rafferty's lawyer, Dirk Derstine, told reporters his client was disappointed by the verdict. He did not know if he would appeal.

“Everybody in our system deserves a strong defence,” he said.

The jury deliberated for a little more than 12 hours Friday. As they sat in a 14th-floor room, the court house filled with family members, supporters and members of the public who waited on tenterhooks for the verdict.

Many fretted that the exclusion of some evidence – notably child pornography found on Mr. Rafferty's computer – would sway the verdict. But in the end, it made no difference. The jury didn’t even opt to knock the first-degree murder charge down to manslaughter or the sexual assault causing bodily harm charge down to straight sexual assault.

Jurors did, however, three times call court back into session throughout the day to ask questions of Mr. Justice Thomas Heeney.

The first time, jurors asked to review video of an interrogation of Terri-Lynne McClintic, Mr. Rafferty's former girlfriend. In the May, 2009 police interview, she described how Mr. Rafferty raped Tori in the back of his car, then bludgeoned her to death.

The account in the video is similar to the one she gave at Mr. Rafferty's trial, save for one key aspect. In her testimony, she said it was she, not he, who wielded the hammer that killed Tori. Crown prosecutors battled hard during the trial to ensure the video was entered into evidence, and made it an important part of their case.

On the other two occasions, the jury asked the judge to explain whether removing a child's undergarments would constitute sexual assault or sexual assault causing bodily harm.

Judge Heeney told them they would have to consider three things to establish sexual assault causing bodily harm: if force had been used, if it occurred in a sexual situation and if it injured Tori.

Court heard earlier that Tori's body was too badly decomposed to determine if she had been raped – only that she was naked from the waist down.

Mr. Rafferty's lawyers, for their part, spent part of the trial blasting away at other evidence of a sexual assault, depicting Ms. McClintic as a liar and suggesting that specks of Tori's blood found in Mr. Rafferty's car were deposited there after Ms. McClintic killed the girl.

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Normal Judge calls Tori Stafford killer a 'monster' at sentencing

Post by mary.cole.144 on Tue May 15, 2012 12:40 pm

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details
CBC News Posted: May 15, 2012 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: May 15, 2012 1:16 PM ET



Michael Rafferty has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years, despite his continued claim that he did not commit crimes against Victoria (Tori) Stafford.

At a sentencing hearing held at the courthouse in London, Ont., Tuesday, Rafferty was given the opportunity to speak and he said, "I firmly stand behind not guilty."

He admitted he played a role in the disappearance of Tori, who was last seen alive outside her elementary school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009, but said he's not guilty of murder, kidnapping, or sexual assault, even though a jury found him guilty on all of those charges on Friday. He offered to meet with Tori's mother, Tara McDonald, to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle so she would know the whole story. But outside the courthouse, McDonald told reporters she wasn't interested in the offer.

In sentencing the 31-year-old, Justice Thomas Heeney said Rafferty committed an act "of pure evil" and added there is no doubt the jury got it right.

"Most tragically of all you have snuffed out the life of a little girl ... And for what? So you could fulfil your twisted need to have sex with a child. You sir are a monster," the judge said.

Rafferty also receives 10 years each for kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm, to be served concurrently with the sentence for first-degree murder.

Heeney also prohibited him from owning weapons, and said his name will be added to the national sex offender registry and he must provide a DNA sample. Rafferty will be eligible for parole on May 19, 2034.

A number of Tori's relatives spoke at the hearing about the loss they felt after the 2009 slaying.

Her mother said she has been through a lifetime of pain in the past three years. She said her life, and the lives of her family, were destroyed the day Tori disappeared.

"But Victoria wouldn't want us to be miserable forever, so for her we will pick up the pieces and put together our lives as best as we can," McDonald said. "No amount of time or tears will ever bring her back to me."

McDonald said her son, Daryn, who usually walked his younger sister home from school, still feels guilty about not doing so on April 8, 2009, the day Tori went missing while walking home from school. McDonald also said she still has to deal with whispers from people who think she had something to do with her daughter's disappearance.

She said she will never get a chance to see Tori at her graduation, prom or wedding. It has all been replaced by anniversaries — the day she went missing, the day she was found.

Other family members who spoke at Rafferty's sentencing hearing included aunts and uncles and two grandmothers. Rodney Stafford, Tori's father, told the hearing there had been a great impact, especially on younger members of the family after the Grade 3 student was abducted and remained missing for about three months until her body was found in Mount Forest, 100 kilometres north of Woodstock.

Rodney Stafford told the hearing there are no words to express his feelings and that he often wants to explode with rage. Cheers could be heard in the courthouse when he referred to the "piece of shit" who stole Tori.

Tears from killer



When a statement written by Tori's brother Daryn was read out, Rafferty appeared to get emotional and began to cry, occasionally wiping tears from his eyes.

Daryn wrote that he feels alone and has had to go to counselling. He said he has low self-esteem and anxiety. He cannot walk alone without constantly looking behind him.

He described the last time he saw Tori, on the day she disappeared, and said everything seemed normal.

"Now I am lost without her, trying to move on without my baby sister and best friend," he wrote. "No hugs, no see you later, no goodbyes, just a part of my heart ripped out … like the world is playing a sick trick on me but it's not. This is my reality."

Throughout Rafferty's trial, which began March 5 and ended with a guilty verdict Friday evening, people jockeyed to get a seat in the courtroom, and Tuesday morning was no different. People lined up early to try to get a seat inside the courtroom or in the overflow room.

Rafferty was found guilty on all three charges he faced following the first full day of deliberations: first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

A conviction of first-degree murder carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

Terri-Lynne McClintic, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder two years ago, testified in March that she lured Tori to Rafferty’s car on his orders. The pair then took the girl first to Guelph and later to Mount Forest.

McClintic was one of more than a dozen women Rafferty dated in the spring of 2009, several at the same time.

McClintic told jurors Rafferty repeatedly raped the girl before, overcome with rage, she bludgeoned the young girl to death with a hammer. The 21-year-old had previously said Rafferty killed Tori.

Tori's partially clothed remains were found more than three months later in a field outside of Mount Forest, inside garbage bags and covered with several large stones.

Defence lawyer Dirk Derstine told the media assembled outside the courthouse after a verdict had been reached that a decision on whether to appeal is in Rafferty's hands and will be made in "due course."

Rafferty downloaded child porn

Throughout the trial, jurors were unaware that Rafferty had searched for and downloaded child pornography to his computer, after Heeney ruled the evidence inadmissible because police obtained the information without a proper warrant.

They were also unaware he had downloaded a movie, Gardens of the Night, which details the abduction and sexual abuse of an eight-year-old girl.

Jurors began their deliberation Thursday and returned a verdict a little more than 24 hours later. Over the course of the lengthy and often emotional trial, the 12-member jury heard from 62 witnesses and viewed almost 200 exhibits.

Rafferty did not testify during his trial and the only time jurors heard him speak at length was through a police audiotape of an interview recorded in May 2009.

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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 Wrapitup on Tue May 15, 2012 12:52 pm

Great Article, Mary!! He got Life! Yea!! And, his tears are ONLY for himself!

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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 Wrapitup on Tue May 15, 2012 1:36 pm

LONDON, Ont. — The powerful and angry words of the judge presiding over Michael Rafferty's case rang through the courtroom Tuesday — ``twisted,'' ``deviant,'' ``child rapist'' — but it was the words of Victoria Stafford's brother that left the largest impact, even on the ``monster'' himself.

When eight-year-old Tori was abducted on April 8, 2009, her brother Daryn was just 10 years old. Several of Tori's family members gave victim impact statements at Rafferty's formal sentencing, talking about the pain her death has caused, but they all kept coming back to Daryn, the big brother who feels he was supposed to protect Tori.

``No hugs, no 'See you later,' no goodbyes, just a part of my heart ripped out,'' Daryn wrote in his statement. ``My sister was the only person I had to talk to, someone that felt what I felt, cried when I cried, laughed when I laughed, and now I feel alone, like the world is playing a sick trick on me. But it's not. This is my reality.''

Rafferty, who was found guilty on Friday of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping, cried and wiped tears from his eyes as a Crown attorney read Daryn's statement.

Rafferty was asked if he had anything to say before being sentenced to life in prison, the automatic penalty for first-degree murder. He stood up and addressed Tori's mother Tara McDonald directly, saying he would give her ``all the pieces of the puzzle,'' if she wanted to hear them away from the court, members of the media and spectators.

She said outside court she would not be taking him up on his offer.

Rafferty did not testify in his own defence, leaving only his former girlfriend and accomplice Terri-Lynne McClintic's account of what happened the day Tori was killed. He said Tuesday that he is ``guilty of many crimes'' and has done things he is ``very, very ashamed of,'' but maintained he is not guilty of those three crimes. At trial his lawyer had suggested McClintic was responsible for what happened to Tori.

``I do believe that I am a very definite part of why Victoria's not here today,'' Rafferty said Tuesday.

``Hopefully, everybody can find some closure of some sort to me being sentenced to life. I'm truly sorry to the entire family, not that it has much bearing to any of you coming from my mouth, but it's still true.''

Rafferty's words rang hollow not only to the family, as they said later, but also to Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney, who ordered Rafferty to stand up as he said now that the presumption of innocence has been stripped away, it has been revealed who Rafferty truly is: ``a child abductor, a child rapist and a child murderer.''

``You have snuffed out the life of a beautiful, talented, vivacious little girl, a 'tomboy diva,' in the trustful innocence of childhood,'' Heeney said, seething with anger. ``And for what? So that you could gratify your twisted and deviant desire to have sex with a child. Only a monster could commit an act of such pure evil.''

``You, sir, are a monster.''

Rafferty was led out of the courtroom to a life behind bars. He will be eligible to apply for parole after serving 25 years. He has been in custody since May 19, 2009. Rafferty will, however, he able to apply for the so-called faint-hope clause after serving 15 years. He was also sentenced to 10 years to be served concurrently for sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

The courtroom was packed with family members and reporters, and even nine members of the jury returned to see Rafferty be sent to prison for life. They appeared emotional after the victim impact statements, particularly Daryn's.

Crown attorney Stephanie Venne read Daryn's statement, in which he notes one of the questions on the form asks ``Was anything taken from you?''

``It's obviously asking about property, but something was taken from me,'' Daryn wrote. ``My baby sister was taken from me and that's not something I can go buy at a store to replace.''

The last time he saw Tori was at school that day and they were arguing as brothers and sisters do. When they parted, he didn't know it would be the last time he ever saw her.

``It was weird because it felt like something was wrong,'' he wrote. ``I could feel it. Now I am lost without her, trying to move on without my baby sister and best friend.''

Rafferty will join McClintic, his ex-lover and partner in the gruesome crime, in being sentenced to life in prison. She pleaded guilty two years ago to first-degree murder, admitting she lured Tori away with the promise of seeing a dog and delivered the child to Rafferty for repeated sexual assaults.

The jurors went to the judge with several questions about the sexual assault charge during their 10 hours of deliberations. It was alleged that Rafferty's sexual gratification was the motive behind the murder, but the jury didn't know there was evidence that he sought out hours of child pornography videos and made dozens of searches for images of violent child rape.

No one will ever know whether the jury believed if Rafferty or McClintic wielded the hammer that killed the girl, whether they thought the abduction was random or targeted, or whether the sequence of events was planned all along _ but the end result was the same for little Tori.

Whether Tori knew McClintic or she was lured away with talk of a dog, the eight-year-old with butterfly earrings and a skip in her step was still unwittingly led to her death on a sunny April day after school.

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Normal Victoria Stafford family read victim impact statements

Post by Wrapitup on Wed May 16, 2012 6:24 pm

The family of Victoria Stafford gave emotional statements before Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison.

The Canadian Press
Date: Tuesday May. 15, 2012 6:43 PM ET

Read the victim impact statements written by the brother, father and mother of 'Tori' Stafford and read at the sentencing hearing for Michael Rafferty.

The links will take you to the statements in PDF format and show the handwritten version of the comments delivered, where available the text has also been included.

Daryn Stafford's statement: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

When I was asked to write my statement, I didn't know what to write. What is there to write when there are no words to describe the impact this whole thing has left on me.

Not everyone knows how it feels to have your world ripped out from under you in less than a day. No hugs, no 'see you later,' no goodbyes, just a part of my heart ripped out. Not one person can say they feel the same as me.

My sister was the only person I had to talk to, someone that felt what I felt, cried when I cried, laughed when I laughed, and now I feel alone, like the world is playing a sick trick on me. But it's not, this is my reality. No more fun times, just old memories, no more 'I love yous,' just an empty spot in my heart.

On top of that loss, I have a dad who is also dealing with thoughts around this, a mom who is an addict because she doesn't know how to cope with her own emotions surrounding (this), and a totally fractured family.

I can't even talk to someone and know if they like me for who I am or because they feel bad that I'm Victoria Stafford's brother.

On top of that, I now have really strong anxiety problems. I can't walk by myself without watching behind me. I can't sleep because of nightmares and my fear of the dark, and I can't be alone.

The first question is, 'Have there been any changes to your family? How would you describe your family relationships?' To answer that in full honesty, my family is torn. My mom and dad cannot get along. They never have, but now they can't even for me. My dad's side of my family can't stand each other and the same with my mom's.

In the past three years, I have missed dozens of days of school because of counselling sessions and a psychiatrist. I can't concentrate most days because my mind is always somewhere else. I have to take walks and talk to my teachers because a lot of the time, I can't control my emotions. I don't even want to go out for sports teams because of my anxiety and my low self-esteem and confidence.

The booklet says, 'Was anything taken from you?' It's obviously asking about property, but something was taken from me. My baby sister was taken from me, and that's not something I can go buy at a store to replace.

My last memory I have of Tori was only a few minutes before she went missing. We were arguing like any brother and sister, but when school was done and we parted, I didn't know I would never get to see her again. And it was weird because it felt like something was wrong. I could feel it. Now I am lost without her, trying to move on without my baby sister and best friend.

That's all.

Rodney Stafford's statement: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Tara McDonald's statement: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Statements from Michael Rafferty and Justice Heeney were also delivered in court.

Michael Rafferty's statement:

I wanted to come to this courtroom defending myself and after hearing the victim impact statements I think there's something more important to say.

To Tara McDonald: for the past three years I've had so much to say on my behalf. Nobody has all the pieces of the puzzle and I'm willing to give you those pieces if you'd like them.

I know this has been a long ordeal for everybody and I'm glad that it's come to an end and hopefully everybody can find some closure of some sort to me being sentenced to life.

I'm truly sorry to the entire family, not that it has much bearing to any of you coming from my mouth, but it's still true.

I've stayed quiet this entire trial, thinking it was for my defence, thinking it was for the better. But I do have something to say and that is for Tara McDonald alone without the media, without spectators, so at least you know it will be true, or as true as you're willing to believe it without other people listening and without it being to my benefit.

I still disagree with the conviction of these three charges. I am guilty of many crimes and there are a lot of things I'm very, very ashamed of, but these three counts I still stand firmly behind not guilty.

As I said, I would fill in the blanks for you if you wish, however that can be seen through the courts or the institution where I'll be staying.

To your son, I believe that impact statement hit me the hardest. I can only imagine if something like that came from the words, or came from the mouth of my own son. I have lost a child before but I have no idea what you have gone through. I cannot imagine what you have gone through, for that I'm very sorry.

As I said I am standing behind not guilty of these convictions. Notwithstanding, though, I do believe that I am a very definite part of why Victoria's not here today. Once again I'm very sorry, not that half of you, or any of you may believe me, but as I said I've stayed quiet thinking that that was to my defence, not thinking of how it may impact the family of Victoria Stafford. That's all I have to say.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney's statement:

Mr. Rafferty was not convicted based on his character, he was convicted based on his conduct. Character evidence is presumptively inadmissible under our law for a reason. Character evidence speaks volumes about his deviant nature, but that is more relevant to who he is, as opposed to what he did. Being a pervert does not mean that he is a murderer. (...)

But with the verdict of the jury, that presumption of innocence has been stripped away, revealing who he really is: a child abductor; a child rapist; and a child murderer.

Mr. Rafferty, please stand up.

Your crimes have destroyed the lives of Victoria Stafford's parents, her brother, her extended family and her loved ones. They have terrorized an entire community, who had thought its children could safely walk its streets, little knowing that people such as you lurked among them. That you were brought to justice is due entirely to the most massive and extraordinary mobilization of police resources that this province, and probably this country, has ever seen. (...)

But most tragically of all, you have snuffed out the life of a beautiful, talented, vivacious little girl, a "tomboy diva" in the trustful innocence of childhood. And for what? So that you could gratify your twisted and deviant desire to have sex with a child. Only a monster could commit an act of such pure evil. You, sir, are a monster."

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Normal Michael Rafferty misses deadline to appeal conviction in Tori Stafford killing

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:15 pm

By: The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The man found guilty of raping and killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford has missed the deadline to appeal his conviction.
But Michael Rafferty could still file a motion requesting more time to challenge the verdict handed down by a jury last month.
Rafferty was convicted of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in the girl's 2009 death.
The 31-year-old was sentenced on May 12 to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
He was also sentenced to 10 years to be served concurrently for sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.
He had 30 days from that date to file an appeal, but staff at the Ontario Court of Appeal say they haven't received anything.
There is no time limit for him to request an extension of the deadline.
Rafferty's former girlfriend and accomplice in the killing, Terri-Lynne McClintic, is also serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.

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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 Jul 26, 2012 5:53 am

Accused killer Michael Rafferty's life hangs in the balance as nine women and three men deliberate whether the now 31-year-old is guilty. He's charged in the kidnapping, sexual assault and death of 8 year old Woodstock, Ontario's Victoria Stafford in April 2009.

What the jury does not know in this horrific case are the facts that were suppressed by the defence attorney Dirk Derstine in the pre-trial motions. In media released since the sequestering of the jury only hours ago, is that search warrant authorization for internet activity was faulty allowing the defence to claim that the searches were in violation of Mr. Rafferty's rights.
Shortly after Rafferty's computer and phone were discovered in his car, Det. Sgt Ken Falconer of the OPP's technical crimes unit asked in an email soon after the items were seized if a secondary warrant was needed to search the electronics found in the car.

The head of the search warrant team told him to go ahead, believing the search warrant for the car was sufficient. As it turns out there was a loophole.

We had to wait for the full truth but now he nasty truth has been released.

For three months leading to the murder of Victoria 'Tori' Stafford, Michael Rafferty searched the Internet for 'underage rape, real underage rape, real underage rape pictures, pre-teen nude, pre-teen model galleries and nude pre-teen.'

He also accessed a 'how-to-guide' on raping children and dozens of child pornography videos, including some featuring incest and one purporting to be a "snuff movie" involving a child.

On March 28, 2009, 10 days before the kidnapping, Rafferty watched a movie about a man using a story about his lost dog to abduct a blonde, eight-year-old girl walking home alone after school. She is taken away in the man's car and forced later to perform sexual acts.

But none of his disturbing Internet activity could be considered as evidence that Rafferty wanted or planned to rape eight-year-old Tori, largely because it was found under a faulty OPP search warrant.

Rafferty's lawyer suggested McClintic offered Tori to Rafferty as a sexual gift, but he refused.

Derstine's suggestion not only made McClintic look like someone who offers up little girls for sex, it made Rafferty look even nicer in contrast by refusing the gift, Crown attorney Michael Carnegie argued April 24.

It suggested that Rafferty has no sexual interest in children, the opposite of what the computer searches showed, Carnegie argued.

"There were other girlfriends, your honour, who have interesting and perhaps disconcerting things to say and conclusions drawn from various behaviours of Mr. Rafferty . . . towards their children," Carnegie noted.

The most explosive information comes from the OPP electronic crime unit's computer searches and other police reports:

- Rafferty 'joked' with girlfriends via emails that he'd like their young children as gifts, perhaps innocent, perhaps not. One woman texts him April 1, 2009 that she has two-year-old twin daughters. "lol, can I have one?" he texts back. To another, he admits he'd like to do "bad dirty stuff. . . things that some ppl would really take offence to." And, to yet another, he says he would like "ur first born" but "i cant say what i would like."

- Some of his girlfriends told police he exhibited strange behaviour toward their children.

- A London woman told police in January 2009 that Rafferty drugged her glass of wine while they watched a movie at her place. He tied her hands behind her back, choked her and forced to have anal sex, all the while telling her to pass out. When he was done he went to the bathroom, to clean up, then came back and untied her hands. He helped her into the bedroom, cleaned the wine glasses and left. Police determined the sex was not consensual, but the matter did not go to court.

- His desire for child porn extended back at least to 2006. A hard drive from an old computer found in Rafferty's house contained nine child pornography videos, "some with an outwardly coercive element," police reports say.

- He was also interested in adult and bestiality pornography and accessed necrophilia websites, including some that showed "apparently deceased bodies left in rural areas," police say. One image was of a dead woman in a field with no clothing from the waist down.
http://www.cheateralert.com/articles/faulty-search-warrant-information-hides-predators-internet-activity.aspx
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Normal Rafferty appeal stuns Tori Stafford’s grandmother

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:43 am

7:12 pm, August 2nd, 2012

LONDON, ON. - The grandmother of eight-year-old Victoria "Tori" Stafford reacted with disbelief, but determination as well, Thursday at learning the girl's killer is appealing his first-degree murder conviction.

"Oh my God. Are you serious? I don't know what to say. I don't even know what to think of it," Doreen Graichen said when told Michael Rafferty, 31, is appealing his conviction on grounds the judge had failed to properly instruct the jury.

"Here we go again, the emotional roller-coaster," Graichen said, then added she was determined not to let this last stage of the case overrun her life as it has for three years.

"I'm not going to fret about it until there is something to fret about. I feel like I've got everything in a place where I can move on. I'm not going to get upset until I know what happens with an appeal."

Tori's family had no idea Rafferty, sentenced to life in prison, had filed an appeal until several media outlets reported it Thursday.

"I thought the deadline had passed," Graichen said.

On May 11, a jury found Rafferty guilty of the April 8, 2009, kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of Tori, who disappeared while walking home from her Woodstock, Ont., school.

When his 30-day deadline for appealing that conviction passed, many media reported Rafferty had decided not to appeal.

However, Ontario Court of Appeal officials explained to QMI Agency at the time that prisoners could apply for extensions of the appeal period.

Rafferty's trial lawyer, Dirk Derstine, said in June he would not be handling any appeal.

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Normal Rafferty appeal angers Woodstock

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:48 pm

By BY TARA BOWIE, QMI AGENCY
Last Updated: August 7, 2012 10:43am

WOODSTOCK - Woodstock residents were looking for blood the day after news broke that Michael Rafferty filed documents requesting an appeal of his first-degree murder conviction.

“I wish we had the death penalty,” Carol Woodhouse said when asked her thoughts of a potential appeal while she walked along Dundas Street Friday.

“I thought there was finally going to be justice for Tori and now this. It’s heartbreaking, just the thought of him appealing the conviction.”

A 12-person jury convicted Rafferty on May 11 of the first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford.

The 32-year-old, who many refer to as a “monster,” now sits in solitary confinement at the Kingston Penitentiary. He filed appeal documents Thursday, well after his 30-day appeal period ended. It’s been reported Rafferty claims he was not allowed regular access to phones to seek proper legal counsel as the basis for a requested extension.

Hours after the guilty verdict was handed down, many Woodstock residents wondered if it was time to bring back the death penalty for those convicted of murdering children.

Now it seems many people in Woodstock are done questioning and now want Rafferty dead.

“The law should be an eye for an eye. Whatever you do to somebody should get done to you,” Derek Gough said just a few blocks from the site of a peaceful vigil organized days after Rafferty was convicted to honour Tori’s memory.

Across from the police station, while watering purple pansies growing in one of the city’s planters, parks employee Marquise Bonn couldn't believe Rafferty was continuing his terror even from prison.

“Regardless of whether he was the one that actually committed the murder he was there so he should receive the maximum. This is probably the last thing this family and community wants to go through. It’s been a few months (since the conviction). Hopefully the healing process has started to begin for the family and now he’s doing this. He just wants the attention,” she said.

Users on both the Sentinel-Review website and Facebook page echoed sentiments of those interviewed by reporters Friday.

One user wrote, “We should be ashamed of ourselves for this judicial system we support. Has this family not suffered enough? Have we, the people of Woodstock, not suffered enough? We were horrified by what we heard at trial and even more horrified by what we heard after. We lost a little angel. Now let’s bury the perverted, satanic guttersnipe once and for all.”

There were a few commenters who supported the appeal process, but not necessarily Rafferty’s appeal.

“You can't pick and choose who gets to have rights and who doesn't when there is a blanket of freedom to express those rights. As sad as it may seem, if the courts made an error, this fellow has the right to express his concern, regardless of what he did,” said one user.

In the appeal document, filed with the Court of Appeal of Ontario on July 26, Rafferty says, "the jury failed to apprehend the evidentiary requirement to convict for first-degree murder." He also says Justice Thomas Heeney failed to properly instruct the jury.

At this time, it is unknown whether the appeal will go ahead.

Tori disappeared after leaving Oliver Stephens elementary school April 8, 2009. After a massive search effort including officers and volunteers, her partially clothed remains were found more than three months later under a pile of rocks in Mount Forest.

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Normal Michael Rafferty is UNREAL!! OMG!

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:31 pm

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Normal McClintic pleads guilty to inmate attack

Post by raine1953 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:40 am



KITCHENER — Terri Lynne McClintic, the young woman serving a life sentence for the murder of Tori Stafford, pleaded guilty today to assaulting an inmate at the Kitchener prison for women.

McClintic, 22, was originally charged with assault causing bodily harm in the Jan. 30 attack on a woman at the Grand Valley Institute for Women.

But she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault after the victim refused to co-operate, leaving the Crown unable to prove the severity of her injuries.

McClintic sat impassively as Kitchener’s Ontario Court heard about a vicious unprovoked attack on inmate Amy McIntyre in a small interview room at the prison.

McClintic had asked for a peer support meeting, a program offering emotional support to inmates, with McIntyre, who was also serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. McIntyre has since won her appeal for a new trial.

During the meeting, court was told, McClintic got up from her chair and punched McIntyre in the head. She fell to the floor, and McClintic repeatedly kicked her in the body and head, said prosecutor Julia Forward.

McIntyre ended up in a fetal position on the floor. She didn’t fight back.

Several correctional officers witnessed the attack. Even as they pulled McClintic off McIntyre, she kept trying to get at her, court heard.

In a letter McClintic wrote to another inmate afterwards, she said she was disappointed the room hadn’t been larger.

“I don’t even think I did much damage,” she said. “I wish I had got to speak to her in the program room, then I could have really done some damage.

“I got in at least a couple shots, good ones, like one or two decent face shots. Finally I brought my foot up, tried stomping on her face a couple times, threw a couple kicks in.”

McClintic’s lawyer, Geoff Snow, said she originally planned to have a trial on the charge. But after the Crown produced McClintic’s letter in May, McClintic had no choice but to plead guilty because the letter was admissible, he said.

McClintic was angry at McIntyre over something that had gone on in the prison, although details were unclear.

Justice Colin Westman agreed to the Crown’s request to sentence her to six months in jail. It will be served concurrently with her life sentence. Her lawyer wanted time served.

Snow said McClintic was put in segregation for 30 days and had privileges suspended for two months.

The assault is her 10th conviction for offences of violence.

McClintic pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder in the killing of eight-year-old Tori Stafford outside her Woodstock school in April 2009.

She admitted kicking Tori who was in the fetal position, before Tori was killed with hammer blows to the head.

Michael Rafferty also received a life sentence this year after he was found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in Stafford’s killing. He is appealing the conviction.

McClintic didn’t say anything in the Kitchener court, except “Yes” to confirm her plea for the judge. Her lawyer entered her guilty plea for her.

The judge called her situation “tragic.’’ He said it was obvious she has deep-seated “anger toward her fellow human beings.’’

“Imagine the turmoil you must feel within yourself to allow yourself to participate in this event,” Westman said.

He said he hoped she could find “some kind of peace with life.”

Her lawyer said outside court that she is taking programs to deal with her anger. She’s in the maximum security unit at the prison.
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Normal Michael Rafferty’s picture shows up on dating website

Post by Nama on Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:03 pm

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It’s a photo of a child murderer -- and until Tuesday, it was used to get dates.

A sinister photo of Michael Rafferty, who’s serving a life sentence, appeared on the international dating website he used to troll for women in the weeks before and after he sexually assaulted and murdered eight-year-old Victoria Stafford of Woodstock in April 2009.

On the dating site Plenty of Fish, his image was attached to a profile belonging to “scoobmike,” a man purportedly in Saskatoon, Sask., describing himself as a “non-smoker with athletic type body” who was looking for women between the ages of 18 and 46.

The photo was taken down by Tuesday.

Keith Tomasek, a lecturer teaching social media at London’s Western University, said the use of Rafferty’s photo illustrates the lawless nature of the Internet. There’s nothing to stop people from posting whatever they want, he said.

“It’s the wild west where you can do anything until someone tells you to stop,” Tomasek said.

The web also provides a cloak of anonymity where people can be whoever they want to -- “the power for people to manipulate themselves,” Tomasek said.

“Anybody can be anybody. There’s nothing at all that gives you any sense of security.”

He praised Plenty of Fish’s removal of the offensive profile, saying the move shows it’s monitoring users.

Rafferty’s image was a familiar one, published and broadcast across Canada -- the 31-year-old Woodstock, Ont., man standing with his chin in hand, in front of vertical blinds.

On the website, “scoobmike” says he’s someone who “love(s) to have fun, travel and laugh, listen to music, meet people, dance, watch movie (sic).”

He described himself as 36, six feet tall, and with a high school education. He wrote that he is “caucasian pisces with brown hair.”

He describes his perfect first date as, “Dinner, movie, walk by the river. Talk and get to know one another, Do something fun.”

An anonymous source who contacted QMI Agency about the photo said he contacted Plenty of Fish and both Woodstock and Saskatoon police about the image. When it wasn’t removed, he called the newspaper.

Plenty of Fish spokesperson Shannon Smith said they “diligently monitor our website internally and our users’ safety is our top priority.”

The website is “community-driven” and once the photo was reported it would have been removed immediately.

“Our users report any suspicious activity themselves, and each profile is exposed to thousands of users, so there is no place to hide and these type of profiles don’t stay up,” she said.

Smith said the site’s customer service department would have investigated a complaint and taken down the photo.

A jury convicted Rafferty in May of first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm. Several women who met him online testified at the emotional London trial.

Stafford vanished in April 2009 on her way home from school. Her body was found two months later in a field near Mount Forest. Rafferty and his former girlfriend, Terri-Lynn McClintic, now 21, were charged with her death.

McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 2010.

Rafferty is appealing his convictions.
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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 Wrapitup on Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:11 pm

Is he allowed to use computers in jail and prison? I wondered when I first posted this.

POF is a meat market free dating site and it's scary to think this murderer had access to a computer.

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Normal Michael Rafferty Appeal: Tori Stafford Killer Clears Hurdle For Appeal

Post by raine1953 on Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:11 pm

TORONTO — Michael Rafferty has cleared a hurdle to proceed with an appeal of his murder conviction in the killing of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford.

Rafferty missed the deadline to file his notice of appeal, which is 30 days after sentencing, so he had to request a time extension.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario granted it Oct. 26, so he can now file a full appeal if he wants.

He has not filed any appeal documents beyond the inmate notice of appeal, filed in July, in which he says his conviction should be set aside and a new trial ordered.

Rafferty was convicted in May of kidnapping, sexual assault causing bodily harm and first-degree murder in the death of Tori, from Woodstock, Ont.

On his notice of appeal written from Kingston Penitentiary where he is serving a life sentence, Rafferty says it was filed late because he wasn't able to use the phone in time to speak to a lawyer about it.

There is no date for Rafferty's appeal to be heard. Dates for appeals are not generally set until the appellant has filed all the proper documents.

Rafferty's former girlfriend and accomplice in the killing, Terri-Lynne McClintic, is also serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.

Evidence was that McClintic lured the Grade 3 student to Rafferty's car. They then drove her to a secluded area where he raped her. One of them then smashed her head in with a hammer before burying her body under garbage bags and a pile of rocks.

To avoid prejudice to the accused, the judge did not allow the jury to hear evidence seized from Rafferty's laptop, which included child pornography, torture videos and a movie about the abduction of a girl.
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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 Wrapitup on Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:30 pm

He will NOT win!

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Normal Michael Rafferty headed to highest court for taxpayer help

Post by raine1953 on Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:38 pm

The hearing could last less than half an hour and the convicted murderer will show up only by video.

But the family of Victoria ‘Tori’ Stafford plans to head to the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto on Monday, anyway.

“I want to be there as much as I can to let everybody know that we are still standing behind Victoria,” said her father, Rodney Stafford. “We don’t have to go, but all of us want to show Victoria that we’re still here, we care that she’s gone.”

His eight-year-old daughter was walking home from school in Woodstock April 8, 2009, when she was kidnapped, driven to a remote rural lane two hours away, sexually assaulted and killed.

Michael Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic are serving life sentences for kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder.

Rafferty has appealed that conviction, saying the judge in his trial last year failed to properly instruct the jury and that the jury didn’t properly understand the required evidence to convict him of first-degree murder.

Rafferty is to appear Monday by video for a hearing in Ontario’s highest court that will likely focus on his attempt to get taxpayers to foot the bill for an appeal lawyer.

Rafferty’s appeal will keep dragging the family back into court and back to the horror of Tori’s disappearance and death, Stafford said.

“It does really bother me, but there’s nothing I can do to control anything. These people like to play games and do everything they can and say everything they can, to get themselves out of a cell for a day,” he said.

“I’m not going to let this idiot for one second think that he’s got away with anything.”

One of Tori’s uncles and a grandmother also plan to attend the hearing.

The kidnapping of the bright-eyed and lively girl captivated the nation in the spring of 2009, as investigators focused their suspicions on the girl’s mother and thousands of people, believing Tori was still alive, searched for her.

The arrests of McClintic and Rafferty in May 2009 put those suspicions to rest, but shocked members of the public and even experienced investigators who refused to believe the luring and killing could be done by random predators haunting a street full of children walking home from school.

McClintic pleaded guilty in April 2010 and testified against her former boyfriend.

Rafferty’s three-month trial was marked by McClintic’s graphic testimony and violent past, Rafferty’s string of women and chilling post-killing behaviour, as well as heartbreaking testimony from those who knew Tori and the police who tried to find her alive.
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RODNEY STAFFORD, FATHER OF MURDER VICTIM VICTORIA 'TORI' STAFFORD, STANDS OUTSIDE HIS APARTMENT IN WOODSTOCK
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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 Wrapitup on Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:40 am

Updated

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