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

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

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

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

Had not heard about this.

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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 Jan 17, 2012 10:41 am

Me neither!

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:13 pm

Pre-trial motions continue in Victoria Stafford case

BY LINDA NGUYEN, POSTMEDIA NEWS
JANUARY 17, 2012

LONDON, Ont. - The pre-trial hearing of an Ontario man charged with the murder of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford continued Tuesday.

Michael Rafferty, 30, is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm in the disappearance of the Grade 3 student.

Stafford was last seen at her Woodstock elementary school on April 8, 2009.

Her disappearance drew international media attention and resulted in an exhaustive search by police investigators.

Her remains were found three months later under a rock pile near Mount Forest, Ont., more than 100 kilometres away from her home.

In 2010, Rafferty's ex-girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic pled guilty to first-degree murder in Stafford's death. She confessed that she was high on drugs when she lured the little girl away.

Stafford's father, Rodney, and his girlfriend, attended the hearing Tuesday and could be seen periodically wiping away tears from the second row of the courtroom.

The pre-trial was expected to last four weeks, with jury selection slated to begin on Feb. 27.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:41 am


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Normal Jurors to visit site where body found

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:32 pm

By RANDY RICHMOND, THE LONDON FREE PRESS
Last Updated: February 3, 2012 9:17pm

Jurors trying Michael Rafferty for the murder of Victoria Stafford will visit the remote spot where the eight-year-old girl’s body was found, and where the Crown alleges she was sexually assaulted and killed.

Superior Court Justice Thomas Heeney agreed to the jury’s viewing of the scene during consideration of pre-trial motions Friday in London.

He also ruled Crown and defence lawyers can ask potential jurors if they have been affected by pre-trial publicity about the case.

The pre-trial motions and rulings — designed to settle procedural issues before a jury is selected — are covered under a publication ban.

But Iain MacKinnon, the lawyer representing several media outlets, including The London Free Press and QMI Agency, argued successfully Friday for the release of some information involving two rulings: questions to be asked of the jury, called challenge for cause, and the jury’s visit to the scene.

Pre-trial motions began Jan. 16 and are expected to conclude next week. Jury selection is set to begin Feb. 27.

Victoria (Tori) Stafford was abducted while walking home from school in Woodstock on April 8, 2009.

Her disappearance and the hunt for her abductors riveted the nation, but hopes of finding her alive were dashed May 20, 2009, when two people were arrested for murder.

Her body was found July 19, near a path off Concession Road 6 North at Side Road 2 East in Arthur Township, southeast of Mount Forest, about two kilometres south of Hwy. 89.

“It is the Crown’s position that this site constitutes both the scene of the alleged sexual assault and murder of Victoria Stafford, as well as the site of her bodily disposal,” states the Crown’s notice of application to the court.

The defence did not oppose the Crown’s application for a jury viewing of the scene.

The Crown application states the jury will see photographic and video evidence of the site, but that alone won’t put into context evidence “respecting this pivotal crime scene and body-recovery location.”

“Only a scene view can provide jurors with the means to understand and critically and independently access the trial evidence,” the Crown’s notice of application stated.

Rafferty is accused of first-degree murder, sexual assault and kidnapping.

Co-accused Terri-Lynne McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison in April 2010, although a publication ban kept that information secret until December 2010.

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As it should be. I believe in any murder case, the jury should go to the site where the body was found.

I have NO doubt in my mind had the juror's gone to Caylee's site, she would be behind bars right now.

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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 Feb 17, 2012 5:31 pm

Michael Rafferty to sit in prisoner's dock

BY LINDA NGUYEN, POSTMEDIA NEWS FEBRUARY 17, 2012

TORONTO - A man charged in the murder of eight-year-old Victoria ``Tori'' Stafford will sit in the prisoner's dock during his criminal trial, an Ontario judge has ruled.

Defence lawyers for Michael Rafferty had wanted their client to sit at the defence counsels' table during the upcoming two-and-a-half month long trial.

But Ontario Justice Thomas Heeney rejected the proposal in a decision released Friday, ruling this special request could not be granted due to the ``high level of security'' required during the trial. The proposal was made during four weeks of pre-trial motions this month.

Rafferty, 31, is charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault and kidnapping.

Stafford, a Grade 3 student, was abducted while walking home from school on April 8, 2009 in Woodstock, Ont.

Her disappearance triggered a nationwide search involving hundreds of Ontario Provincial Police officers and daily pleas from her parents for her safe return.

Those hopes were dimmed when Rafferty, and his ex-girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, were arrested on May 20, 2009.

The little girl's remains were found nearly two months later on July 19, 2009 on a rural road southwest of Mount Forest, Ont.

In April 2010, McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the case. Her plea was put under a highly criticized sweeping publication ban until December.

The now 21-year-old, also from Woodstock, is currently serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years after she admitted to randomly choosing Stafford and lured her with the promise of seeing a puppy.

Her official cause of death was never released, but an autopsy revealed in court indicated the girl died from multiple blunt force impacts on the same day she went missing.

Jury selection for the Rafferty trial will begin Feb. 27 in London, Ont.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:45 pm

Local residents will be following the Rafferty trial closely in the coming months

Sunday, February 26, 2012 4:06 PM EST

Michael Rafferty is charged with killing Tori Stafford.

Local residents say they will be following the trial of Michael Rafferty, slated to begin on Monday with jury selection, closely over the coming months.

Rafferty is charged with the abduction and murder of Victoria "Tori" Stafford.

She was abducted while walking home from school in Woodstock April 8, 2009.

Her body was found July 19, near a path off Concession Road 6 North at Side Road 2 East in Arthur Township, southeast of Mount Forest, about two kilometres south of Highway 89.

Princeton resident Hank Snyder said he has been following the case closely and said the trial is not about justice.

“There is no justice, the girl is never going to be brought back, we’re talking about punishment,” he said

Others are still saddened and shocked over the slaying.

“Every time I think of it, it repulses me,” said Woodstock resident Marie Gray. “How (anyone) could do that to an angel, it’s disgusting.”

One resident said the case has changed the way Woodstonians think about the safety of their children.

“It’s created an awareness of people here, that it can happen in any town,” Jim Taylor said. “People are more aware and cautious about their kids, which is a good thing, hug your kids.”

Jurors trying Rafferty for the murder of Victoria Stafford will visit the remote spot where the eight-year-old girl's body was found, and where the Crown alleges she was sexually assaulted and killed.

That ruling was made as part of pre-trial motions that began Jan. 16.

Woodstock police Chief Rod Freeman says he will not be commenting on the proceedings while the trial is ongoing.

“We’re waiting for the outcome like the rest of the community,” he said

Former OPP Det. Insp. William Renton, now an inspector with the Woodstock Police Service, headed the joint investigation into Tori’s disappearance.

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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 Feb 28, 2012 5:16 pm

Jury selection begins in Tori Stafford murder trial in London, Ont.
Allison Jones,
Monday, February 27, 2012 4:46 PM

LONDON, Ont. - Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a man accused of killing an eight-year-old girl who went missing outside her southwestern Ontario school.

Michael Rafferty, 31, is charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in the death of Victoria Stafford.

The trial proper is expected to begin next week and last three months, though Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney told potential jurors Monday that the trial could last into June.

Of the 224 people who went before the judge Monday, about three-quarters were excused for various reasons such as financial hardship, medical issues and travel plans. Several people said they had children around the same age as Tori and thought serving on the jury would be too difficult.

The remaining 63 people were asked to return on Wednesday for the next stage of jury selection, in which the lawyers will ask them questions. Twelve jurors and two alternates are selected for jury trials.

Tori disappeared while on her way home from school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009, and her body was found three months later.

Terri-Lynne McClintic, now 21, has already been convicted of first-degree murder in the girl's death.

A total of 1,375 people have been summoned for jury duty this week and next, and they could end up serving on the Rafferty trial or any other criminal or civil jury trial starting during that period.

Rafferty's trial was moved from Woodstock to nearby London in light of publicity surrounding the girl's death.

His lawyer, Dirk Derstine, suggested outside court that people should keep an open mind.

"I expect that the evidence to be called will be different than what everybody is perhaps expecting," he said.

The trial is also expected to draw extensive media coverage, so Heeney has set some ground rules. Reporters can use devices such as laptops or smartphones but won't be allowed to transmit from the courtroom.

However, a satellite courtroom will be set up for the trial, from which reporters will be allowed to electronically transmit information.

Members of the public won't be permitted to use personal electronic devices in either courtroom.

During the trial the jury is set to visit the site where Tori's body was found.

Read it on Global News: Global Saskatoon | Jury selection begins in Tori Stafford murder trial in London, Ont.

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Normal Rafferty Pleads Not Guilty in Tori Stafford Murder Trial

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:45 pm

February 29, 2012

Three times, by his full name, Michael Thomas Christopher Stephen Rafferty was asked how he pleaded to the charges involving one Victoria Elizabeth Stafford on or about April 8, 2009.

To first-degree murder. To kidnapping. To sexual assault causing bodily harm.

Three times Rafferty, 31, answered in the same soft yet clear and firm voice.

"Not guilty." "Not guilty." "Not guilty."

Asked to confirm those three pleas, he replied with the same even tone: "That is correct."

The formal reading of charges and Rafferty's pleas, the first time spoken in front of potential jurors, began a day of court proceedings Wednesday that will dramatically change the lives of five women and two men for the next few months.

They were the first seven of 12 jurors to be chosen for a trial that could last until June and detail the killing of an eight-year-old Woodstock, Ont., girl known as Victoria Elizabeth Stafford in court, but simply Tori to family and friends.

Selection of the other five jurors and two alternates will continue Thursday with the aim of starting opening arguments Monday.

Each potential juror had to pass through an usual process Wednesday called challenge for cause. Each was asked a few questions to determine if pre-trial publicity had affected them.

Depending on their answers, they were deemed unacceptable to serve, or acceptable to move to the next stage.

If accepted, each juror had to stand and look at Rafferty and he at them.

Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey and Rafferty's lawyer Dirk Derstine were then allowed to reject the suitability of each juror without offering a reason why. They were not allowed to ask potential jurors any more questions.

Outside court, Derstine said the publicity surrounding the case was "the most significant concern" in picking the jury.

But given the limited amount of questions they can ask, lawyers never know for sure what they're getting when they pick a jury, he added.

"It's always difficult to try to find out exactly whether or not they are the right jury or not. You can only do your best."

Fifty people people passed through both sets of challenges Wednesday. Another 68 people are set to go through the same process Thursday.

Tori Stafford disappeared while walking home from her Woodstock school April 8, 2009. Rafferty and his girlfriend at the time, Terri-Lynne McClintic, were arrested May 19, 2009. Tori's body wasn't found until July.

McClintic, now 21, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison in April 2010.


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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 Feb 29, 2012 11:49 pm

GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!! head bang

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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 NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:56 pm

Victoria (Tori) Stafford



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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 Praying For Faith on Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:18 am

She sure was a cute little girl. Darn these crazy3 nutcase people. Why do they have to do this to these beautiful children. head bang

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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 Mar 01, 2012 12:40 pm

Michael Rafferty pleads not guilty to killing Tori Stafford; seven jurors chosen

Allison Jones,
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 4:41 PM

LONDON, Ont. - Seven people were chosen Wednesday to serve on a jury in the trial of a man accused in the death of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford.

Michael Rafferty, 31, was formally arraigned Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

Dressed in a three-piece suit, Rafferty stood looking out at the jury pool and said he was ready for his trial.

"That is correct," he said as his pleas were read back to him.

Tori disappeared while on her way home from school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009, and her body was found three months later.

Terri-Lynne McClintic, now 21, has already been convicted of first-degree murder in the girl's death.

Five women and two men have been selected so far as lawyers seek to choose a jury of 12 people and two alternates.

Hundreds of people were called for jury selection in Rafferty's trial, and all but 116 were excused Monday and Tuesday for various financial, medical and travel reasons. The remaining 116 were organized into five groups, with two groups facing the second stage of jury selection Wednesday. The last three groups return Thursday.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney explained to the assembled potential jurors Wednesday morning that they would each be asked a series of pre-determined questions.

Crown and defence lawyers get a set number of challenges, which they can use to reject a potential juror without giving a reason.

The trial is expected to start Monday if all jurors and alternates can be selected this week.

Potential jurors have been told the trial is expected to last between 2 1/2 and three months, possibly extending into June. Most weeks the trial will sit Tuesdays to Fridays. Because of the time commitment and the nature of the case, Heeney raised the amount of compensation jurors will get.

In most trials in Ontario jurors are paid $40 a day if they sit longer than 10 days, and from the 50th day onward they get $100 a day. For this trial jurors will receive $40 a day from the outset, rising to $100 a day starting on the 25th day.

During the trial the jury is set to visit the site where Tori's body was found.

Read it on Global News: Global Winnipeg | Michael Rafferty pleads not guilty to killing Tori Stafford; seven jurors chosen

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Normal Tori Stafford's mother testifies at first-degree murder trial

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:16 am

James Armstrong, Global News : Wednesday, March 07, 2012 5:27 PM

London - Tori Stafford's mother testified at the trial of the man accused of first-degree murder in the death of her daughter. Tara McDonald stayed calm and collected while detailing her history of drug use and describing the day Tori was abducted.

McDonald recalled the events of April 8, 2009, saying it was a fairly cold day, so Tori was driven the few blocks from her Woodstock home to school.

McDonald said that Tori was expected to walk home from school with her brother. But she didn't return with him.

During cross-examination, McDonald said she had always warned Tori about talking to strangers.

It remains unanswered why Tori didn't walk home with her brother.

When Tori hadn't returned by 5 p.m. Mcdonald began searching for her.

When questioned why she didn’t go to police immediately, McDonald said she thought it would be premature to report Tori missing without first searching thoroughly.

McDonald also said that despite having taken OxyContin the day of the abduction, she was not afraid of going to the police.

Staff Sgt. James Hess of the Woodstock police said in court today that all resources were brought in to help with the initial search for Tori, including approximately 100 officers from the Ontario Provincial Police, as well as officers from Brantford, Waterloo, London, and St. Thomas.

A few days into the investigation, police released security camera footage gained from College Avenue Secondary School. The footage showed a woman in a white jacket – who had been identified as Terri-Lynn McClintic - walking with Tori Stafford.

McDonald admitted today she had met McClintic twice before, when buying OxyContin from McClintic’s mother. It was a habit, McDonald admitted today, that became daily following Tori’s abduction.

Soon after the infamous "woman in a white coat" security footage was released, McDonald testified that a friend told her that the woman must be McClintic.

McDonald told police, and Staff Sgt. Hess testified today that McClintic was a person of interest since four days after Tori was abducted.


Read it on Global News: Global News | Tori Stafford's mother testifies at first-degree murder trial

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MUST - SEE video at above link.

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:42 pm

McClintic said she had anger issues hours before Tori Stafford was killed

Allison Jones, Thursday, March 08, 2012 8:55 PM

LONDON, Ont. - In the hours before abducting an eight-year-old girl and leaving her brutally beaten body in a field, a teenager who confessed in the killing cited anger issues and her Grade 9 education as possible hurdles to finding work, court heard Thursday.

Terri-Lynne McClintic, who is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to the murder of Victoria Stafford, also listed babysitter among her past jobs at a meeting with an employment counsellor.

The now 21-year-old woman is set to testify Tuesday at the trial of her former boyfriend Michael Rafferty.

The Crown alleges the pair snatched Tori outside her elementary school in Woodstock, Ont., and drove her more than 100 kilometres north to a rural area, where she was sexually assaulted and killed.

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

When the Grade 3 student disappeared on April 8, 2009, a huge contingent of police officers worked flat out for up to 20 hours a day over six weeks in hopes of finding her alive, so it was a crushing blow when McClintic told them the girl was dead, court heard.

Police had held out hope Tori was alive until McClintic's confession six weeks after the disappearance, court heard.

"The investigation went from an abduction investigation to a homicide investigation," Woodstock police officer Det. Const. Sean Kelly testified, his voice trembling with emotion.

"It was quite significant and it had ... a pretty big impact."

Kelly choked up, so he paused, staring at the ceiling and trying to blink away tears.

"I'm good," he said eventually. "We'll continue."

As Tori spent the last few hours of her life at school jumping in puddles and researching plants on a computer, McClintic spent time at an employment centre, where she filled out forms listing her minimal work experience and indicating she was on social assistance, Kelly testified.

Documents show McClintic arrived at the employment centre at 2:19 p.m. She was seen on surveillance video leading Tori away from school at 3:32 p.m.

McClintic had last worked for three weeks in November 2008 at ATS Reliance in Cambridge, Ont., as an industrial cleaner. She expressed interest in getting her high school equivalency and taking training needed to serve alcohol.

She indicated she was a non-status aboriginal, was on social assistance and had only completed Grade 9, but was interested in labour or "hands on" work, expecting to be paid about $10 an hour.

McClintic said she was a perfectionist, that employers would consider her a good candidate and that she was "highly motivated" to find work.

She also checked off the box next to "I tend to become angry easily," and wrote in by hand: "But have been able to maintain control over situations."

In addition to her brief stint as an industrial cleaner, McClintic worked as a babysitter for various families in September and October of 2008 as well as the summers of 2001, 2002 and 2003, caring for children between eight months and five years of age.

McClintic made a follow-up appointment at the employment centre for April 16, but by then she was already in custody.

Tori's mother testified Wednesday that when surveillance video of the girl being led away by a woman was released, a friend told her it looked like McClintic, so she phoned police.

A check turned up a warrant for McClintic's arrest on a parole violation, breach of custody and supervision. Police arrested her April 12, 2009, and she confessed to Tori's murder on May 19.

The trial has heard about the massive scale of the investigation and how officers worked around the clock to try to find Tori.

"We did the best that we could," Kelly said.

Tori's body was found naked from the waist down in garbage bags under a pile of rocks in a field near Mount Forest, Ont. She died from multiple blows to the head with a hammer, but she also had blunt injuries to her body that lacerated her liver and fractured her ribs - injuries that could have been fatal on their own, court has heard.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:42 am




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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:02 pm

Convicted killer tells Stafford trial of her troubled childhood

March 13, 2012 - 12:24pm BY ALLISON JONES THE CANADIAN PRESS

LONDON, Ont. — A young woman who confessed to murder in the death of Victoria Stafford says her life before she abducted the Grade 3 student consisted of “getting high.”

Terri-Lynne McClintic is telling a London, Ont., jury about her childhood, saying she was given up at birth by her mother and left school in Grade 8.

McClintic says she was smoking marijuana at eight years old, and spent her teen years abusing ecstasy and cocaine.

OxyContin and morphine, she says, became her drugs of choice when she moved to Woodstock, the southern Ontario community where Tori lived.

Both the main courtroom and overflow courtroom are filled to capacity for McClintic’s first day on the stand at the first-degree murder trial of her former boyfriend, Michael Rafferty.

Tori vanished outside her school and her brutally beaten body was found in a field far from home three months later.

McClintic, now 21, has admitted she abducted Tori on April 8, 2009 and is now serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.

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

Last week court heard that before she snatched Tori, McClintic went to an employment centre, filling out various forms but citing anger issues and a Grade 9 education as impediments to finding a job.

As Tori spent the last few hours of her life at school jumping in puddles and researching plants on a computer, McClintic listed her minimal work experience — including babysitting — on the forms and indicated she was on social assistance, court heard.

Documents show McClintic arrived at the employment centre at 2:19 p.m. She was seen on surveillance video leading Tori away from school at 3:32 p.m.

McClintic said she was a perfectionist, that employers would consider her a good candidate and that she was “highly motivated” to find work. She also checked off a box next to “I tend to become angry easily,” and wrote in by hand: “But have been able to maintain control over situations.”

The surveillance video showing Tori walking away from school with a woman in a white puffy coat was released soon after April 8. Police received a tip from Tori’s mother, Tara McDonald, who said she heard from a friend that it looked like McClintic. McDonald has testified she crossed paths with McClintic twice when she and her boyfriend bought OxyContin illegally from McClintic’s mother, but that the girl seemed too “under the influence” herself to notice they were there.

A check turned up a warrant for McClintic’s arrest on a parole violation, breach of custody and supervision. Police arrested her April 12, 2009, and she confessed to Tori’s murder on May 19. Before she was arrested, court heard, McClintic lopped off several inches of her hair and a box of hair dye was found in her home.

The Crown alleges McClintic and Rafferty kidnapped Tori outside her elementary school in Woodstock, Ont., and drove her more than 100 kilometres north to a rural area, where they say she was sexually assaulted and killed.

Tori’s body was found naked from the waist down in garbage bags under a pile of rocks in a field near Mount Forest, Ont. She died from multiple blows to the head with a hammer, but she also had blunt injuries to her body that lacerated her liver and fractured her ribs — injuries that could have been fatal on their own, court has heard.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:38 pm

Rafferty commented Tori wasn't young enough after she was abducted: McClintic

Allison Jones, Wednesday, March 14, 2012 6:30 PM

LONDON, Ont. - Moments after being kidnapped outside her elementary school, eight-year-old Victoria Stafford was deemed too old by the man now standing trial for sexual assault and first-degree murder in her death, court heard Wednesday.

A 21-year-old woman who has confessed to abducting the girl, saying she did so at the urging of boyfriend Michael Rafferty, has testified that she killed the Grade 3 student by using a hammer, but court heard Wednesday that she originally said it was Rafferty.

After she abducted Tori, Terri-Lynne McClintic testified, she brought her back to Rafferty's waiting car, where her boyfriend got upset about her choice of a child, she said.

"He made a comment that she wasn't young enough," she said.


They drove off with Tori anyway, McClintic said, and the girl kept asking if she could go home, promising not to tell on them.

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

Tori was killed on April 8, 2009, but her remains would not be found for another 103 days in a field more than 100 kilometres north of where she was abducted outside her school in Woodstock, Ont. McClintic was a person of interest in the investigation early on, court has heard, and she was arrested on an unrelated outstanding warrant on April 12.

McClintic, who told Rafferty at one point that she would "take the fall" for him, wrote her recollection of the events of April 8 in a document for her lawyer while in detention, including that Rafferty was the one who killed Tori with blows to the head from a hammer, court heard.

On the first day of her testimony Tuesday, McClintic said he was the one who wielded the hammer after the sexual assault of Tori prompted flashbacks to her own childhood traumas. Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney cautioned the jury on the use of prior inconsistent statements, saying that if a lie is repeated 100 times, it doesn't make it true.

"There might be a temptation for you to conclude that because Ms. McClintic said something on at least one occasion then said the same thing on subsequent occasions that it is more likely to be the truth," Heeney said. "That would be an improper and an illogical conclusion to draw."

McClintic's testimony is to continue Friday, after lawyers and the judge spend Thursday in court discussing legal issues outside the presence of the jury. Court saw two videos Wednesday — one of McClintic and Rafferty smiling and chatting at what appears to be a movie theatre box office two weeks before Tori was killed. The jury was also shown surveillance video from the Home Depot where McClintic bought the hammer used to kill Tori and garbage bags.

Rafferty, wearing an ill-fitting three-piece suit, frequently smirked and muttered to himself throughout McClintic's testimony about the weeks between when she was arrested and when she confessed to murder, leading to charges against them both.

The pair stayed in contact while McClintic was in the detention centre, and during a visit and several telephone conversations, Rafferty worried that she would say something to police that would implicate him, McClintic testified.

"I said that I would take the fall for everything, that I would say it was all me, that he had more to lose than I did," McClintic said.

She further told him, "he had a life, a job, things going for him and I was just, I really had nothing," court heard. "I said don't worry about it, it's OK. It's OK. I'm just an 18-year-old junkie anyways."

Rafferty told her, "you realize what that would consist of right?" and added, "I've always wanted conjugal visits." WTF??

During another visit, the couple talked about McClintic running away from the detention centre, court heard.

"He said maybe we could be like the next Bonnie and Clyde," she said.

Rafferty appeared to scoff Wednesday when McClintic said that and stared up at the ceiling, muttering to himself.

McClintic said she will never forget what Rafferty said to her the last time she saw him at the detention centre before she confessed to police and they were both charged in Tori's death.

"I remember touching his face and...he looked up and almost, like, laughed at me and said, 'You'll do anything for a little bit of love, eh?'"

Earlier Wednesday, McClintic testified that Rafferty didn't say much right after Tori's death, "just that we should never speak of this again."

Court heard that Rafferty had brought changes of clothing for himself and McClintic and that after the killing they got rid of her shoes, changed clothes, used a self-serve car wash in Cambridge, Ont., dumped garbage bags that had the hammer McClintic says she used to kill the eight-year-old girl.

She and Rafferty met a few days later to discuss her alibi — she would say they went window shopping in Oakville, about two hours away from where Tori's body was found, and stopped by a dance studio, McClintic said.

"I wrote it down in a journal so I wouldn't forget what he said… so I wouldn't mess anything up," she said. Court saw several pages McClintic had written in her journal with various question and answer scenarios with police about Tori.


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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:03 pm

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Normal McClintic told police Rafferty killed Tori Stafford; now she says it was her

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:14 pm

Allison Jones, Friday, March 16, 2012 6:58 PM

LONDON, Ont. - A young woman described in graphic detail this week how she killed eight-year-old Victoria Stafford, but court heard Friday that she originally told police a very different story.

WARNING: Graphic details from this court case may disturb some readers.

Days after she was charged in the death, a sobbing Terri-Lynne McClintic, then 18, told police it was her boyfriend who had murdered Tori after raping the little girl, court heard.

McClintic has told a courtroom she snatched Tori outside her Woodstock, Ont., elementary school in April 2009 at the urging of her boyfriend Michael Rafferty, although when she shoved the Grade 3 student in his car he complained she wasn't young enough. They drove Tori to a rural area more than 100 kilometres north where Rafferty sexually assaulted her, McClintic testified.

After witnessing the alleged sex assault, pent-up rage from her own childhood trauma caused McClintic to grab a hammer and kill the girl by hitting her several times in the head, she testified.

But that's not what she told police on May 24, 2009, just days after she and Rafferty were charged.

Excerpts of the videotaped statement that day show McClintic weeping as she described Rafferty raping Tori while the girl was calling out to her to "make him stop," kicking and stomping on the girl on the ground. Rafferty then covered the child's head with a garbage bag before he used the hammer to kill her, McClintic told police.

When Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey confronted McClintic with the inconsistency Friday, she said the story she told police was more or less true, except it was she, not Rafferty, who kicked and killed Tori.

Gowdey asked why she had blamed Rafferty, if she in fact was the killer. McClintic said she couldn't accept she was capable of "something so heinous." Rafferty was the one who wanted to kidnap a child and had raped Tori, she said.

"Couldn't he be the monster that killed her as well?" she said.

McClintic really killed Tori but pinned it on Rafferty because she had ignored "risk factors" about him, McClintic said.

"This is a man that could do it again to some other child," she said. "It wasn't up to me to do something about that?"

Gowdey, who confronted the Crown's own witness about the differing stories, asked why, if her efforts to implicate Rafferty "were thought through so carefully," could she not say the exact number of blows inflicted on Tori, if she herself was the one really inflicted them. McClintic said she wasn't being "completely truthful" at the time.

McClintic, 21, is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty two years ago to first-degree murder in Tori's death.

She spent most of the week on the stand at the trial of Rafferty, 31, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm, and kidnapping. Tori was abducted shortly after school let out on the afternoon of April 8, 2009.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney told the jury that because McClintic is remaining firm in her current version of events, they can't use her statement on the video as evidence that Rafferty killed Tori. However, the jury can use the portions of video to assess McClintic's credibility, Heeney said.

McClintic is set to resume her testimony Wednesday after the lawyers spend Tuesday arguing legal issues.

McClintic, who told Rafferty at one point that she would "take the fall" for him, wrote her recollection of the events of April 8, 2009, in a document for her lawyer while in detention, including that Rafferty was the one who killed Tori, court heard earlier this week.

"He had a life, a job, things going for him and I was just, I really had nothing," McClintic testified. "I said, 'Don't worry about it, it's OK. It's OK. I'm just an 18-year-old junkie anyways.'''

Rafferty replied, "I've always wanted conjugal visits," McClintic said.

Tori's partially clothed remains were found 103 days after her death in the field near Mount Forest, Ont. She died from the multiple blows to the head with a hammer, but she also had blunt force injuries to her body that lacerated her liver and fractured her ribs — injuries that could have been fatal on their own, court has heard.

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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:33 pm

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Post by lisette on Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:24 pm

Oh, Wrap, the article at that link is so horrible to read!! That poor child!! crying It's hard to imagine people being that cruel....
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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:53 pm

It's Horrific. Didn't want to print it out. I should have put a warning before clicking.

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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:05 pm

Tori's killer needs police statement refresher
Tori Stafford trial
Posted 1 hour ago
Hank Daniszewski

QMI Agency

LONDON, ONT. - Terri-Lynne McClintic stood by her admission that she killed Victoria Stafford with kicks and hammer blows Friday, even after she reviewed a statement made in May 2009.

McClintic, 21, was back on the stand for her third day of testimony in the first-degree murder trial of her former boyfriend Michael Rafferty.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm in Tori’s death. McClintic, Rafferty’s former girlfriend, pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.

Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey asked McClintic about a statement she made to OPP investigators on May 24, 2009, which included details about the circumstance of Tori’s death, including who dealt the hammer blows and the kicks to the eight-year-old girl.

Court was recessed briefly while McClintic reviewed that statement. When court was resumed McClintic was asked if she wanted to change her testimony after reviewing her May 24, 2009.

She said she did not and reaffirmed her Tuesday testimony that she killed Victoria with hammer blows and kicks.

The jury was then excused while the court discussed legal issues.

Earlier this week, McClintic testified she and Rafferty kidnapped Tori on April 8, 2009. She said she lured Tori from her school in Woodstock, Ont., promising to show her a puppy.

Her and Rafferty then drove Tori to an isolated rural area north of Guelph, Ont., where McClintic said she got out of the car and later saw Rafferty sexually assaulting Tori in the back seat. McClintic told the jury she killed Tori with a hammer.

The girl’s body was found under a rock pile 103 days later.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:28 pm

Rafferty trial: Cross-examination of McClintic begins

James Armstrong, Global News : Wednesday, March 21, 2012 1:41 PM
WARNING: Some of the content presented will be graphic and explicit in nature.

LONDON – As the trial of Michael Rafferty resumes in London, Terri-Lynne McClintic’s time in custody was the focus of questioning as Dirk Derstine, the defence lawyer for Michael Rafferty, began his cross-examination.

As court resumed Wednesday morning, the judge advised the jury that McClintic’s statement from May 24, 2009 – in which she implicates Michael Rafferty as the one who murdered Tori Stafford - could now be used as evidence.

The 2009 statement contradicts her testimony last week in which she claimed full responsibility for the murder of the 8-year-old Woodstock girl.

Michael Rafferty is currently on trial for the kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder of Tori Stafford – a Grade 3 student who was abducted from outside of her Woodstock school in April 2009 by Terri-Lynne McClintic.

As Derstine began his cross-examination, he brought forth several letters written by McClintic during her time in custody after she had pleaded guilty to a stabbing in 2007.

Written just over a year before McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Tori Stafford, the letters shown to court on Wednesday paint McClintic as a bully in jail – to which McClintic admitted - pressuring others to give her their prescriptions.

The letters also carry a very foreboding line as McClintic had written “Murderous B-----s” on each, something Derstine suggested was how she described herself and a friend while in custody.

McClintic was resolute that the title was only a phrase and did not hold a special meaning, though many of the letters shown in court also speak blatantly of attacking several individuals.

Littering her letters with profanity, McClintic wrote about attacking one specific pregnant woman, and murdering and attacking other people. One letter that McClintic wrote during her time in custody, says she is going to “take out that whole kid’s family.

While McClintic was adamant that many of the violent ideas were just phrases, and she did not intend to act on them, McClintic admitted she may have meant them at the time, but that was “quite a few years ago."

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:37 am

Before murder of Tori Stafford, McClintic wrote of wanting to smash skulls

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press Mar 21, 2012 21:40:00 PM

LONDON, Ont. - A jury saw glimpses Wednesday of two strikingly different Terri-Lynne McClintics: one, the weeping teen who claims she unwittingly led Victoria Stafford to her death and the other, a hardened young criminal who talked of smashing skulls, torturing victims and killing witnesses.

WARNING: Graphic details from this court case may disturb some readers.

The woman who confessed to murder in the death of the Grade 3 student gave a tearful videotaped confession to police weeks after Tori disappeared in April 2009, which court watched Wednesday, but a year earlier while in a detention centre she wrote about pent-up rage driving a desire to murder random people.

"I juz wanna be on road n take the first person I see, grab em...bring em wit me (and)...mutilate the (expletive) out of them, smash (their) skull apart then piece it togetha like a puzzle that way (they) stay conscious of the pain I'm inflictin on em," McClintic wrote to a friend while in custody in March 2008.
She was doing time for robbing and stabbing two people, court heard, and it was a breach of probation for that offence that led her into custody after Tori disappeared April 8, 2009. Some initial tips named McClintic as a suspect and she was arrested April 12 on the probation violation, though it was not until May 19 that she confessed to Tori's murder.

A police video from McClintic's full confession a few days later, with a sobbing 18-year-old McClintic saying she stood watching, frozen as her boyfriend Michael Rafferty raped and killed Tori was shown to the jury at Rafferty's first-degree murder trial Wednesday.

The jury was shown excerpts of McClintic's police interview earlier, but at the time Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney told them they couldn't use it as evidence in the trial, only to assess McClintic's credibility.

Her story has markedly changed since that interview. McClintic now says she was the one who wielded the hammer, snapping due to childhood trauma after witnessing the alleged sex assault.

Heeney told the jury Wednesday that he made a ruling that the video statement falls under an exception to the traditional rule about prior inconsistent statements, and they can now consider it as evidence in finding the facts of the case. Jurors will still have to assess McClintic's credibility on the video, just as they have to assess her credibility on the stand, Heeney said.
McClintic, 21, is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in Tori's death and is now testifying as a witness at Rafferty's trial.
Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

After the video was played Rafferty's lawyer, Dirk Derstine, began cross-examining her, and showed a long series of letters she wrote while in custody before the killing. They are filled with gory, violent imagery, talk of wanting to go on a "killing spree" and Crips gang symbols. They paint a picture of someone who had built a reputation in custody as a tough, violent person, who bragged that even the guards were afraid of her, court heard.

In the letter in which McClintic talks about wanting to smash someone's skull, she describes ways in which she would torture her victim, including lighting them on fire.

"Sweep up the ashes when the flames die then keep up (and) the next (person) I don't like iz gonna drink them ashes," McClintic wrote.

In that letter she also talked about dyeing her hair so she wouldn't be recognized. When she was arrested, a box of hair dye was found in her room. She has testified Rafferty bought it for her and urged her to use it after Tori's killing, but she didn't get a chance before her arrest.

"I feel like a vampire in heat," she wrote in another letter from the detention centre. "I'm so blood thirsty I just wanna be on road so I can take the first person I see (and) shatter their skull."

McClintic also talks, in several of the letters, of wanting to kill, torture or hurt people or their families, including a witness in a friend's case, someone who had mouthed off to her and the people she stabbed. For the latter she had tracked down their names, addresses and phone numbers, and agreed in court that it appeared she was sending this information in a letter so someone not in custody could hurt them, or worse.
"There seems to be a bit of a theme that you're bringing forward...not only will you do terrible things to people who make you angry, but you will do terrible things to innocent people attached to those people?" Derstine asked McClintic.

"I would agree that I had anger issues and I did seek out to hurt those that had done something to, as I had seen it, hurt or anger me in some form or another," McClintic said.

Court has heard McClintic abducted Tori outside her school, then the three drove in Rafferty's car to a rural area more than 100 kilometres north.

"I could hear her calling out for me saying, 'T, make him stop'," McClintic says on the video, describing how she walked away during the alleged sex assault. "I wanted to grab her, take her away from him, but I took a couple steps and felt like I walked into a brick wall."
There was a break at one point during the sexual assault when Tori needed to use the washroom, McClintic said, and she took Tori a few steps away from the car.

"With me, she was good," McClintic says in the interview. "She was great. She wasn't scared of me."
When Rafferty killed Tori, kicking her, stomping on her and hitting her in the head several times with a hammer, it seemed like "he knew what he was doing," McClintic tells Ontario Provincial Police Det. Sgt. Jim Smyth.

"I felt at the point of tears a lot, and I didn't want him to see that. I didn't want him to see any of that," she said.

Rafferty made her help put Tori's body into several layers of garbage bags, McClintic said, and Smyth asked how he got her to do those things.

"He said, 'You're in it just as far as I am,'" McClintic told him. She decided to tell police the story so Tori could be brought home, McClintic said in the interview. Tori's remains would be found in July, 103 days after she went missing, partially clothed and in garbage bags in a field and under a pile of rocks, court has heard.

As the video of the interview was played in court Wednesday, Rafferty sat in the prisoner's box shaking his head.

Smyth asks at the end of the interview if McClintic has left anything at all out of the story.

"No," she says. "No. Everything, I've thrown everything out, everything, like I've laid it all out. That's it."

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Normal Tori Stafford trial: officer breaks down during testimony

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:34 pm

BY LINDA NGUYEN, POSTMEDIA NEWS MARCH 22, 2012 9:39 AM

LONDON, Ont. — A police detective who arrested the woman who later confessed to killing eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford broke down in an Ontario court Thursday as he recounted the moment he learned she was dead.

"The investigation went from an abduction investigation to a homicide investigation. It was quite significant," said Woodstock police Det.-Const. Sean Kelly at the trial of Michael Rafferty.

"Even to this day, it had a pretty big impact."

Rafferty, 31, is being tried for kidnapping, sexual assault causing bodily harm and first-degree murder in Stafford's death. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

In April 2010, Rafferty's former girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, admitted to the killing and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

The now 21-year-old's highly anticipated testimony will begin next Tuesday when the trial resumes.

On Thursday, Kelly told the court a large contingent of police officers immediately began working around the clock after the Grade 3 student was reported missing on April 8, 2009.

"For the first week, we were overwhelmed. The shifts were very long, 15 to 20 hours a day," he said. "We did the best that we could."

As one of the officers working that day, Kelly helped conduct searches of Stafford's house and a previous house her family recently had lived in. Often, children who are reported missing end up being found sleeping inside their homes unbeknownst to their parents, he told the court.

Kelly also interviewed Stafford's family members and friends in those first few days and effectively became a police liaison updating them about the investigation.

That was why four days later, Tara McDonald personally called him about a tip she had received on the possible identity of a woman last seen in a school surveillance video with her daughter.

It was this information, and the thorough police work that followed, that led investigators to knock on McClintic's door and take her into custody on an outstanding arrest warrant, Kelly said.

From there, Kelly was able to coax from the 18-year-old where she was on the day Stafford disappeared.

Stafford's remains were found in July 2009 in a rural area near Mount Forest, Ont., more than 100 kilometres from where she was last seen alive.

She had died from multiple hammer blows to the head and was buried partially naked under a rock pile with her Hannah Montana T-shirt and mother's butterfly earrings.

McClintic admitted that she had been to a local employment centre that day and recently had cut her long, dark hair because she had got gum in it.

In a resume obtained by the centre and shown in court, McClintic listed a string of jobs she had held, including a babysitter of children aged eight months to five years old.

She also was employed as an industrial cleaner and a kitchen assistant and worked at Tim Hortons shops in Parry Sound, Muskoka and Cambridge, Ont.

According to the resume, she had been out of work since November 2008 and blamed a lack of credentials and her Grade 9 education for her lack of success in job hunting.

Under a list titled "Highlights of Qualifications," McClintic listed she was "outgoing, energetic and a quick learner" who was a perfectionist always seeking new challenges and able to work independently and as a team.

In an accompanying questionnaire in her job file, she checked off that she tended "to become angry easily" and then wrote in "(but have been able to maintain control over situations.")

Kelly told the court he also found Facebook messages McClintic had exchanged with a friend that day about tentative plans to go drinking.

"(Things have) been a lil krazy latley so i ahvent had a lotta time or money to put time on the cell and i moved," she wrote.

Kelly also testified that following McClintic's confession on May 19, 2009, police were able to recover a video of the woman wearing a white jacket in the aisles of a Home Depot store in Guelph, Ont., purchasing a hammer and garbage bags.

The police investigation into Stafford's death was the largest in Ontario Provincial Police history. More than 1,100 pieces of evidence and 4,500 photographs were catalogued during the three-month period the girl was missing.

Earlier this week, Stafford's mother testified that she had met McClintic on two separate occasions prior to her daughter's abduction. The first time was to buy OxyContin pills from her mother and the second time was to talk about breeding her dog with their family dog. OMG, so Tori's mother was selling Oxy's??

Outside the courthouse, Rodney Stafford said he was touched to see Kelly so emotional on the stand.

"These guys are human, too. It's affected a lot of these officers in ways that people couldn't have imagined," he said. "It hurt to see him crying."

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

Post by lisette on Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:49 pm

Earlier this week, Stafford's mother testified that she had met McClintic on two separate occasions prior to her daughter's abduction. The first time was to buy OxyContin pills from her mother and the second time was to talk about breeding her dog with their family dog. OMG, so Tori's mother was selling Oxy's??

I recall that Tori's mother had bought oxy's from McClintic's mother. She remembered that McClintic was "out of it" when she was there. I know...buying/selling...either way, what a mother, right?
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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 Mar 22, 2012 11:26 pm

‘I never had murder on my mind,’ McClintic says at Tori Stafford murder trial

The Canadian Press
LONDON, ONT. A woman convicted of killing Victoria Stafford flatly denied a suggestion Thursday that she was the “engine” behind a plot that went deeper than she has let on, saying she didn’t think she was walking the eight-year-old girl to her death.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Terri-Lynne McClintic told court. “I did what I did. But I’m not the only guilty party here, and that’s why I’m sitting here today.”

The 21-year-old is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, but is now testifying at the trial of her ex-boyfriend. Michael Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

The jury has now seen how McClintic’s story about the events of April 8, 2009, the day Tori disappeared, has morphed from an all-out denial, to saying she was there but didn’t see how Tori died, to saying Rafferty raped Tori and then killed her using a hammer, to now saying it was she who inflicted the fatal blows.

The latest version of events first came up at a counselling session just days before the start of Rafferty’s pretrial in January, court heard.

Rafferty’s lawyer grilled McClintic on her credibility, suggesting that if his client’s trial were to be held next year the court would hear her say she “did more than just kill her.”

“I’m going to suggest to you, that you were the engine who drove the events of that day?” Dirk Derstine asked McClintic.

“That will never happen because that’s not the truth,” she replied.

McClintic has testified that originally she was psychologically unable to fathom she had killed a girl, so she had blocked it out and genuinely believed she hadn’t killed Tori. Derstine expressed skepticism, to which McClintic, appearing to hold back tears, delivered a long reply.

“You don’t want to believe that you are a person that’s capable of this. It’s taken me this long to come to terms and accept that I was capable of doing something like this,” she said.

“When I woke up April 8th I never had murder on my mind. I did not plan on kidnapping a little girl. I did not have the intention of someone losing their life ... When I walked down that street with that little girl I did not think I was walking her to her death and I sure as hell didn’t think it would be my hands that took her life.

“So yes, it did take me time to come to terms with that, but now I have come to terms with that and I’m sitting here today telling the truth. It doesn’t get any more real than that.”

The jury saw video clips Thursday of McClintic sitting in a police station four days after she lured Tori away from school, watching surveillance video of the abduction, laughing, saying there was “no way in hell” that was her in the white, puffy coat.

McClintic tells the officer she was in the area that day wearing a white jacket, walking home after picking up drugs around the time school let out, but repeatedly denies it is her on the video. Under cross-examination Thursday she repeated that at the time she didn’t want to believe she was involved, so she thought she was telling the truth.

“I had pushed things out of my mind,” she told the court Thursday. “I just couldn’t believe that I was involved with something like this. I’m not denying that I have a history of violence, but I’m not violent towards children and I’ve never hurt a child in my life.”

The jury has heard that McClintic’s young life was marked by violence, including hitting her mother in the face so hard that she lost most of the vision in one eye, a violent streak that continued with incidents throughout her time in and out of custody. She wrote disturbing letters and journal entries with torture imagery and talk of wanting to kick someone in the ribs and use a hammer in their murder.

Court has heard that Tori died after being kicked in the ribs and hit in the head with a hammer.

Derstine also cross-examined McClintic about journal writings filled with what he called “deeply disturbing, horrifically violent imagery.”

McClintic wrote about wanting to grab a random person, mutilate them, smash their skull and inflict various manners of torture upon them. At the time she wrote them, she said, a year or two before Tori’s murder, she used her writing as an outlet to vent her rage.

“You confessed under oath to beating a child to death with a hammer,” Derstine said. “That’s a little bit more than anger issues, wouldn’t you agree?”

McClintic said she’s not proud of who she was then, but she underwent a transformation in July 2008 when she got in touch with her emotions.

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:08 pm

Defence paints Michael Rafferty as innocent dupe

Updated: Fri Mar. 23 2012 12:31:22
The Canadian Press

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

Michael Rafferty was just a horrified spectator to Terri-Lynne McClintic's master plan to kidnap and murder eight-year-old Victoria Stafford over a drug debt, turning down McClintic's offering of the girl as a sexual "gift," the defence suggested Friday.

Rafferty's lawyer Dirk Derstine portrayed his client as an innocent dupe, totally unaware of why his girlfriend shoved a girl into his car the afternoon of April 8, 2009, near a Woodstock, Ont., elementary school. Conversely, Derstine portrayed McClintic as a hardened criminal with an insatiable thirst for violence.

The jury has seen two very different sides of McClintic: the weeping young woman filled with regret and horror about the terrible things she said Rafferty did to Tori, and the gangster who lived and breathed torturous violence, so inherently filled with rage that as a child she microwaved a dog. OMG!!

McClintic is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in Tori's death. Her testimony as the central witness in the case against Rafferty for the past two weeks wrapped up Friday with Derstine dramatically laying out suggestions of what happened that day three years ago. McClintic denied it all.

"The abduction in this case was your idea... you went and lured this girl and brought her in the car all friendly and Michael thought nothing of it," Derstine suggested. "Later on you told him that the girl was in the car for a drug debt and still later...you offered her to Michael, sexually."

"I very much disagree with you," McClintic replied.

"When it became clear he didn't want your gift you directed him to a rural location on a pretext... you said that she could be taken to a safe house," Derstine suggested. "Once you got to that lane you told him to walk away because you had to talk to the little girl because she was scared of him."

When Rafferty returned to the vehicle Tori was already dead, bludgeoned with a hammer, and he "was horrified," but helped McClintic clean up, Derstine suggested.

McClintic denied it all.

She has testified that Rafferty urged her to kidnap a young girl for him, but when she brought Tori back to the vehicle he said she should have picked someone younger. In Rafferty's car they drove north to a rural area, but not before stopping at Tim Hortons, to pick up percocets for Rafferty and buy a hammer and garbage bags at a Home Depot in Guelph, Ont.

Once at the murder scene Rafferty raped Tori then McClintic, BS!! I highly doubt Rafferty raped McClintic!! whose mind was carried back to her own childhood traumas, snapped and killed the girl, she testified.

However, court has heard she originally told a different story to police -- that it was actually Rafferty who wielded the hammer and murdered Tori. Her recantation came as early as Jan. 13 of this year, court has heard, just days before the start of Rafferty's pre-trial.

The new version of events came out while talking to a counsellor, but when police came to the prison to take her new statement the next day, court heard, another detail in her story was different. McClintic said she was the one who decided to buy the hammer and garbage bags -- it wasn't Rafferty who told her what to buy. McClintic said she was lying to police.

"I made that statement because I was trying to get out of testifying," she said.

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

McClintic has said that she used to be a very angry person, but that she had dealt with those issues by the time Tori was killed. However, Derstine showed her journal writings Friday made in the days after she was arrested in 2009.

She writes about feelings of rage, and as the entry goes over onto a second page the writing becomes frantic and eventually entirely in capital letters.

"I'm...gettin bloodthirsty again itz like I'm...relapsin on a habit," she scrawled in block letters. "I dunno how to stop it do I run from it what please if theirz a god help me before I self destruct!!"

Even as recently as this year, McClintic's anger issues seem to be ever present, Derstine suggested. He pointed to an incident at Grand Valley Institution for Women, where she is being housed, in which she kicked and stomped on another inmate who had curled up in the fetal position. Court has heard that is what happened to Tori before she died from the blows to the head.

McClintic admitted that she told her godmother during a visit at prison this year that the only thing that bothered her about Tori's murder was that "it was a little kid," otherwise she could do it again. Derstine also prompted McClintic about something else she told her godmother during that visit.

"Do you remember telling her that there were a couple little dogs around when you were a kid and that you microwaved one of them until it screamed?" he asked.

"I was a child," McClintic replied. "I didn't know what I was doing."


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Post by Wrapitup on Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:58 pm

Lawyer: Rafferty a spectator in Stafford killing

March 24, 2012 - 4:24am BY ALLISON JONES THE CANADIAN PRESS

It was girlfriend’s master plan to kidnap girl, 8
LONDON, Ont. — Michael Rafferty was just a horrified spectator to Terri-Lynne McClintic’s master plan to kidnap and murder eight-year-old Victoria Stafford over a drug debt, turning down McClintic’s offering of the girl as a sexual "gift," the defence suggested Friday.

Rafferty’s lawyer Dirk Derstine portrayed his client as an innocent dupe, totally unaware of why his girlfriend shoved a girl into his car the afternoon of April 8, 2009, near a Woodstock, Ont., elementary school. Conversely, Derstine portrayed McClintic as a hardened criminal with an insatiable thirst for violence.

The jury has seen two very different sides of McClintic: the weeping young woman filled with regret and horror about the terrible things she said Rafferty did to Tori, and the gangster who lived and breathed torturous violence, so inherently filled with rage that as a child she microwaved a dog.

McClintic is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in Tori’s death. Her testimony as the central witness in the case against Rafferty for the past two weeks wrapped up Friday with Derstine dramatically laying out suggestions of what happened that day three years ago. McClintic denied it all.

"The abduction in this case was your idea . . . you went and lured this girl and brought her in the car all friendly and Michael thought nothing of it," Derstine suggested. "Later on you told him that the girl was in the car for a drug debt and still later . . . you offered her to Michael, sexually."

"I very much disagree with you," McClintic replied.

"When it became clear he didn’t want your gift you directed him to a rural location on a pretext . . . you said that she could be taken to a safe house," Derstine suggested. "Once you got to that lane you told him to walk away because you had to talk to the little girl because she was scared of him."

When Rafferty returned to the vehicle Tori was already dead, bludgeoned with a hammer, and he "was horrified," but helped McClintic clean up, Derstine suggested.

McClintic denied it all.

She has testified that Rafferty urged her to kidnap a young girl for him, but when she brought Tori back to the vehicle he said she should have picked someone younger. In Rafferty’s car they drove north to a rural area, but not before stopping at Tim Hortons, to pick up percocets for Rafferty and buy a hammer and garbage bags at a Home Depot in Guelph, Ont.

Once at the murder scene Rafferty raped Tori then McClintic, whose mind was carried back to her own childhood traumas, snapped and killed the girl, she testified.

However, court has heard she originally told a different story to police — that it was actually Rafferty who wielded the hammer and murdered Tori. Her recantation came as early as Jan. 13 of this year, court has heard, just days before the start of Rafferty’s pre-trial.

The new version of events came out while talking to a counsellor, but when police came to the prison to take her new statement the next day, court heard, another detail in her story was different. McClintic said she was the one who decided to buy the hammer and garbage bags — it wasn’t Rafferty who told her what to buy. McClintic said she was lying to police.

"I made that statement because I was trying to get out of testifying," she said.

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

McClintic has said that she used to be a very angry person, but that she had dealt with those issues by the time Tori was killed. However, Derstine showed her journal writings Friday made in the days after she was arrested in 2009.

She writes about feelings of rage, and as the entry goes over onto a second page the writing becomes frantic and eventually entirely in capital letters.

"I’m . . . gettin bloodthirsty again itz like I’m . . . relapsin on a habit," she scrawled in block letters. "I dunno how to stop it do I run from it what please if theirz a god help me before I self destruct!!"

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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:17 pm

WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT
The Michael Rafferty trial continued today at the London courthouse.

Rafferty's defense lawyer Dirk Derstine wrapped up his cross examination of Terri-Lynne McClintic this morning.

Derstine suggested that McClintic wasn't only guilty of murdering 8 year old Victoria Stafford, she was also "the engine that drove the events" of April 8th, 2009.

The defense then suggested that McClintic kidnapped the little girl as collateral for a drug debt and offered her to Rafferty as a sexual gift. Derstine then painted Rafferty as a horrified observer. McClintic denied all of these accusations and stated that Rafferty played just as much of a role in the crime as she did.

Derstine then played a few "Necro" songs for the jury. Necro is known to be one of McClintic's favorite rap artists. One song was titled "Garbage Bag". All songs contained graphic and violent lyrics discussing murder.

The defense's final question was in regards to an incident that occurred when McClintic was younger. Derstine pointed out to the jury when McClintic was a child she microwaved a small dog until it screamed. The dog had to be put down. McClintic replied by saying she was just a child at the time.

Derstine's last comments consisted of a cover story McClintic told about the dog. McClintic told others that the dog had to be put down because it got in a fight with another animal. Derstine finished his cross examination by stating to McClintic, "Nobody could believe you could be so cruel to such an innocent."

The crown had no further questions for McClintic after cross examination. They then called Detective Constable Colin Darmon to the stand.

Darmon is with the OPP West Region Operations Unit and was the first person to interview Michael Rafferty.

Darmon told the jury that McClintic's neighbor lead them to her then boyfriend (Rafferty). Rafferty's 2003 Honda Civic was spotted in some surveillance footage taken from establishments around Oliver Stephens Public School.

In an interview with police on May 15th of 2009, just over a month after Victoria Stafford was murdered, Rafferty says he knew of her from the news. In the interview, Rafferty laughs with police and tells them of his relationship with McClintic.

The full interview can be heard below.

Last week and earlier this week McClintic recounted the gruesome and shocking details of Victoria Stafford's last living moments for the jury.

Terri-Lynne McClintic is currently serving a life sentence for first degree murder.

Michael Rafferty has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder, sexual assault and kidnapping.

Court will resume on Tuesday at 10am. Follow @XFMNews and @AshtonPatis for full testimony from the court house.

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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:08 pm

Tori Stafford murder trial at a glance
WARNING: This story contains disturbing details

CBC News Posted: Mar 26, 2012 10:09 AM ET

The trial of Michael Thomas Rafferty, the man accused of abducting, sexually assaulting and killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford, is continuing in London, Ont.

Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual assault causing bodily harm in connection with the death of the Woodstock, Ont., girl.

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

Rafferty and his girlfriend at the time, Terri-Lynne McClintic, were charged in connection with the death.

McClintic, now 21, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the case in April 2010 and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

She is one of several witnesses who have testified in the first three weeks of the Rafferty trial.

We review some of the most significant moments of the trial so far.

The trial so far
March 5 — The trial begins, with Ontario Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney presiding. Heeney warns the jury that they will hear "graphic and disturbing" evidence during the course of the trial, which is expected to last until June.

Crown attorney Kevin Gowdey tells jurors during opening remarks that the Crown will present video surveillance and BlackBerry records that link Rafferty to Victoria's disappearance and outlines the witnesses the Crown plans to call during the course of the trial. He says a pathologist will testify that Victoria died as a result of multiple hammer blows to the head and that the Crown will present DNA evidence connecting Rafferty's Honda Civic to Victoria's disappearance. Read the news story.

March 6 — The jury hears from Victoria's Grade 3 teacher, Jennifer Griffin-Murrell; the mother of one of her classmates, Laura Perry; and OPP Det. Const. Robin Brocanier, who oversaw the effort to obtain video surveillance from a high school near to Victoria's school in the days following her disappearance.

Perry tells the court that on the day Victoria disappeared, she saw her walking from Oliver Stephens Public School behind a young woman who appeared to be in a hurry. Police used information provided by Perry to make a composite sketch of the woman she saw, who, it was later established, was McClintic. Read the news story.

March 7 — Victoria's mother, Tara McDonald, describes the day her daughter disappeared, saying she did not start looking for Victoria until 4:30 p.m.

Tara McDonald, mother of slain Victoria Stafford, testified at the Rafferty trial on March 7, describing to the court the day her daughter disappeared. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)
She testifies she had contact with McClintic on two occasions — when she accompanied her partner, James Goris, to buy OxyContin from McClintic's mother and to discuss dog breeding. She tells the court she had a drug addiction and had used OxyContin on the day Victoria disappeared.

The court also hears from Staff Sgt. Paul Hess of the Woodstock police, who testifies that the police got notice of Victoria's disappearance at 6:04 p.m. and by the next day had called on other police forces in southwestern Ontario for assistance with the search and within a week, brought in the OPP.

OPP Const. Gary Scoyne lays out the scale of the investigation into Victoria's disappearance for the court. Read the news story.

March 8 — Det. Const. Sean Kelly of the Woodstock police testifies that Victoria's mother contacted police April 12 to tell them she recognized the woman in the surveillance video, which police had released, as Terri-Lynne McClintic. Kelly tells the jury police followed up on the information and found McClintic had an outstanding warrant for breach of a probation order, and they arrested her for the infraction and interviewed her about her whereabouts on the day Victoria disappeared. Read the news story.

March 13 — The Crown calls McClintic to testify. She describes in disturbing detail the abduction and killing of Victoria. The court hears how McClintic lured the girl into a waiting car with the promise of showing her a puppy and how she and Rafferty drove her to a rural area about 100 km north of Woodstock, stopping in Guelph along the way to purchase a hammer and garbage bags.

McClintic testifies that while it was Rafferty's idea to abduct Victoria and he was the one who sexually assaulted the young girl, it was McClintic who delivered the fatal hammer blows that killed her. This contradicts previous statements McClintic made to police.

Attendants from the Hendrick Funeral Home load Victoria's remains into a hearse after police found her body in a field near Mount Forest, Ont., on July 20, 2009. McClintic testified in court that she and Rafferty left Victoria's body under a pile of rocks in the field. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)
The court hears about McClintic's troubled upbringing, her drug addiction and past criminal record. Read the news story.

March 14 — McClintic continues her testimony, describing the weeks following Victoria's death. She testifies that in the hours after the girl died, Rafferty told McClintic to "never speak about this again." Jurors are shown three pages from McClintic's journal that contain a series of questions she might be asked by police along with answers she could provide that were allegedly part of a "scenario" Rafferty prepared in case the two were questioned by police.

McClintic describes to the court her visits with Rafferty in juvenile detention, where she was being held in April and May 2009 for violating her probation order. She tells the court she told Rafferty at the time that she would take the rap for Victoria's killing since he had more to lose than she did. Read the news story.

March 15 — The jury is given a one-day break from trial proceedings while the lawyers and judge discuss a legal matter in the case. Read the news story.

March 16 — The Crown questions McClintic about the statement she made to police in 2009 claiming Rafferty was the one who bludgeoned Victoria to death, asking whether she wants to amend her court testimony, which contradicts that statement. After reviewing the statement, McClintic declines and says she lied in 2009 and that it was not Rafferty but she who killed the young girl.

She tells the court she changed her story because it took her a long time to accept that she was capable of doing something so heinous.

The jury is shown several excerpts from a video of McClintic's police interrogation in which she blames Rafferty for the death. Read the news story.

March 21 — The Crown wraps up its questioning of McClintic, with jurors being shown more clips from the video of her police interrogation from May 24, 2009.

Rafferty's defence lawyer, Dirk Derstine, has attempted to undermine McClintic's credibility in court, pointing out that she has changed her account of whether it was she or Rafferty who killed Victoria. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)
Defence lawyer Dirk Derstine begins his cross-examination of McClintic, questioning her about a series of letters she wrote from prison in 2007 in which she expressed a desire to kill and torture others. Read the news story.

March 22 — Derstine questions McClintic about her relationship with Rafferty and her violent history and past assault charges. He also brings up the fact that her claim that she was the one who bludgeoned Victoria contradicts her initial testimony to police, in which she claimed Rafferty did the bludgeoning.

McClintic repeats what she told the Crown, that it has taken her a long time to accept her role in the killing of Victoria. Read the news story.

March 23 — Derstine attacks McClintic's previous testimony and suggests she, not Rafferty, was the driving force behind the abduction and subsequent killing of Victoria. Derstine accuses McClintic of planning the abduction and pushing Rafferty to take part.

The lawyer paints McClintic as someone capable of violence by describing an incident from her childhood in which she microwaved a dog and pointing to her love of violent-themed rap music.

The jury also hears from OPP Det. Const. Colin Darmon, who testifies that in the weeks following Victoria's disappearance, police received more than 5,000 tips. Several of them mentioned McClintic and described her as an associate of Victoria's mother and her partner.

Jurors hear an audio recording of a police interview with Rafferty from May 15, 2009, the first time he was questioned. In it, Rafferty tells police he and McClintic are only friends and that he has heard about Victoria's disappearance but doesn't know much about it.

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:29 pm

Rafferty trial hears from accused's drug dealer
Crown's case expected to focus on the events in Guelph

HANK DANISZEWSKI, QMI AGENCY

LONDON, Ont. -- A friend of Michael Rafferty testified Tuesday at his murder trial that she sold him drugs on the day Victoria Stafford disappeared.

Barbara Armstrong, 44, is a mother of two who lives on Guelph, Ont., and worked at a meat processing plant.

Rafferty worked at the plant briefly as a butcher.

Armstrong testified she and Rafferty dated briefly and remained friends and confidantes. She said she sold Percocets to Rafferty on a number of occasions.

On April 8, 2009, the day Stafford disappeared, she got a text from Rafferty while she was at work.

She arrived home to find Rafferty parked in front, with a young brown-haired woman in the passenger seat of his car.

Armstong said Rafferty went inside with her, bought some Percocets and chatted for 10 minutes before leaving.

Armstrong said Rafferty came by some time later and told her he was going to help look for a girl who disappeared -- the daughter of “a friend of a friend.”

Armstrong said Rafferty told her the disappearance was drug-related because the mother owed money.

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

Terry-Lynne McClintic, Rafferty’s former girlfriend, pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.

Armstrong said Rafferty showed up sometime later looking tired and haggard, complaining he was “stressed” and not sleeping.

Armstrong heard about Rafferty’s arrest on a TV news broadcast.

The court also heard from Det. Sgt David Vittie, who investigated video evidence from Guelph.

Surveillance video played for the court showed a man parking and entering a gas station variety store.

Another video showed a man inside the variety store approaching an ATM.

Receipts from the machine indicated the man withdrew $80 from the machine at 5 p.m. Police were able to match the transaction to Rafferty’s account number.

In another video played for the court, a woman in a white coat enters a Home Depot.

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Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:43 pm

It's sooo hard to read the details in this case. Seeing pictures and videos of Tori just brings tears to my eyes knowing what senseless crime was done to this child! She was so innocent, and it makes me sick knowing what these two SOB's did to her! cryingagain crying It\\'s Not Fair
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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:07 pm

I know and I'm sorry but I Must post what is going on in the trial. Even reading when I am about to post gives me chills. This is sick and demented and those words don't even cover it!

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:28 pm

I hate doing it. Every time I see a new google alert for little Tori, I cringe before I click it.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:17 pm

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:12 pm

McClintic's shoes found after Tori Stafford's death

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details
The Canadian Press Posted: Mar 28, 2012 1:43 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 28, 2012 1:38 PM ET

The shoes that Terri-Lynne McClintic says she wore when Victoria Stafford was killed were the focus Wednesday at the first-degree murder trial of McClintic's former boyfriend.

McClintic testified earlier at Michael Rafferty's trial that after Tori was killed north of Guelph, Ont., he instructed her to throw her shoes out the car window on a sideroad.

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

A woman who lives in the area testified today that in about early April 2009 — the month Tori was killed — she was taking a walk on Sideroad 6 near her home north of Guelph and found a pair of white basketball shoes with blue trim and another single shoe.

Lillian Metcalfe says she threw the single shoe out and took the pair of shoes home and washed them, intending to donate them to Goodwill. On May 30 she gave them to police while they were canvassing the area and McClintic later identified them as hers.

The jury saw the blue and white Shaq basketball shoes as they were entered as an exhibit at the trial today.

Told officer shoes were in her house
Metcalfe also said there was a car's back seat in the same area of the side road for a while. She mentioned it to police since she had heard they were searching for Rafferty's back seat, but by May 30 it was no longer there. She then told the officer about the shoes and he asked her to describe them, Metcalfe said.

"I said, 'Well, I think I can do one better than that,"' Metcalfe testified Wednesday. "'I have the shoes in the house. Would you like to see them?"

Tori's remains were found partially clothed in a field near Mount Forest, further north of Guelph, more than 100 days after she went missing April 8, 2009.

McClintic testified that after Tori was killed Rafferty went to great lengths to cover up their crime, including hiding Tori's body under a rock pile, reversing over tire tracks to make them less distinguishable, providing McClintic with a change of clothes, discarding the clothes they were wearing as well as the murder weapon and throwing out the shoes.

"He turned his lights off and pulled onto the sideroad," McClintic testified earlier about their actions following the murder. "He said, 'We need to get rid of our shoes,' so I believe I tossed my pair of shoes out the car window. He gave me a pair of shoes to wear and he put on a different pair of shoes as well. Then we drove off."

Rafferty then drove to a car wash in Cambridge, Ont., where they hosed down the car and shampooed the interior, McClintic testified.

Trial to resume on Friday
McClintic is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty two years ago to first-degree murder. The trial heard from her as the central witness in the case over two weeks, with questioning largely focusing on inconsistencies in her story.

When she first confessed and when she later pleaded guilty, she said it was Rafferty who killed Tori using the hammer. But she testified at Rafferty's trial that it was she who wielded the hammer.

The Crown alleges Rafferty and McClintic abducted Tori outside her elementary school and drove her to a rural area more than 100 kilometres north, where she was raped and violently killed.

The trial is not sitting Thursday, but resumes Friday with what the Crown says will be "quite a full day."

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:32 pm

Officer who found Tori Stafford's body testifying at Rafferty trial

By: Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
Posted: 10:40 AM | Last Modified: 1:47 PM

LONDON, Ont. - Hundreds of police officers tirelessly worked for months to try to solve the disappearance of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford, but in the end it came down to a veteran officer with a hunch on a Sunday drive.
WARNING: Graphic details from this court case may disturb some readers.

Police had just received information that directed them further north than they had been searching, and on July 19, 2009, Ontario Provincial Police Det. Staff Sgt. Jim Smyth decided to drive around the area of Mount Forest, Ont., just to get an idea of the landscape.

Smyth did not know the area well, but as he passed a house at a particular angle to the road, across from a laneway, he got a sense he was in familiar territory.

Weeks earlier, Smyth had interviewed Terri-Lynne McClintic, now 21, as she confessed to involvement in Tori's death. To assist police in their grim task of finding the girl's remains, McClintic had drawn a sketch of the area where she said she and boyfriend Michael Rafferty left the body.

McClintic said at the time that Rafferty had killed Tori using a hammer, but at trial she testified it was 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 two years ago to first-degree murder.

The sketch showed a laneway across from a house set at a particular angle to the road, court has seen. McClintic had also worked with a sketch artist to provide a composite sketch of the house.

As McClintic described it, the laneway crossed a small creek, went up on an incline, and then at the peak a large rock pile sat to the left. It was behind that rock pile and underneath an evergreen tree that police would find Tori Stafford, she said.

So on that July day more than 14 weeks after Tori disappeared outside her elementary school in Woodstock, Ont., when Smyth drove down the Concession 6 sideroad southeast of Mount Forest, a house that he saw stopped him in his tracks, he testified Friday at Rafferty's trial.

He looked across the road and saw a laneway, just as McClintic had described it, leading into a farmer's field. Smyth drove to the top of the laneway, got out of his car and saw a rock pile to his left. He could also smell a slight odour of decomposition, he said.

Smyth walked to a large evergreen tree behind the rock pile, pulled back some branches hanging very low to the ground and saw some rocks, he testified. McClintic had recounted for him how, after Tori was dead, they put her body in several layers of garbage bags and piled some rocks on top, court has heard.

"I could see a portion of a garbage bag underneath the rocks," Smyth testified, taking several long pauses as he appeared to compose himself. "I moved one rock aside. I touched the bag because I didn't know if it was a piece of scrap."

Court was shown a picture of a pile of rocks under the low-hanging branches, and where Smyth said he had moved the rock aside a bulge in a green garbage bag could be seen.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Heeney warned the jury that there would be more disturbing photographs to come Friday afternoon, through the testimony of another officer.

"I simply ask you to do your best to establish an attitude of sort of clinical detachment," Heeney said. "I know it's easier said than done. I simply ask you to do your best."
To make sure his find wasn't just an empty garbage bag caught up in some rocks, Smyth touched the bag with his finger, he said.

"It wasn't hard, so it wasn't a rock. It was soft," Smyth testified. "I knew that we had finally found, or I believed we had finally found, Victoria Stafford."

Court has heard about the massive investigation that Tori's disappearance touched off in the spring of 2009, with nearly 1,000 officers involved at some point. McClintic's confession on May 19, 2009, led police to focus their search efforts on an area north of Guelph, Ont.

McClintic told them she and Rafferty had stopped at a Home Depot in the city, where she had purchased garbage bags and a hammer before they drove to a rural area.

Police obtained judicial authorization to have her out searching with them, pointing out landmarks that she remembered. But after several days of driving her around in police cars and helicopters, they came up empty-handed.

It wouldn't be until July 17, 2009, that police got the break they needed to find Tori's remains. That day, police had obtained Rafferty's cellphone records and saw that on the evening of April 8 his cellphone had pinged off a tower near Mount Forest, which was further north than they had been searching to date.

Smyth, who as a specialist with the provincial police behavioural sciences unit was working on another case at the time, said he would drive around the area that Sunday to get his bearings and perhaps point out locations where a helicopter could search at a later date.
Tori's remains would be removed from the scene on July 20 and taken to Toronto, where the chief forensic pathologist for Ontario performed her autopsy. Smyth was present and was informed not only that the coroner had positively identified the remains as belonging to Tori through dental records, but also that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

McClintic testified that she hit Tori in the head several times with a hammer.

Smyth's last official day of involvement in the case was July 31, 2009, when he attended a private funeral held by Tori's family.

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:49 pm

‘I knew that we had finally found Victoria Stafford’

BY LINDA NGUYEN, POSTMEDIA NEWS MARCH 30, 2012 1:09 PM

LONDON, Ont. — It was the quick thinking of a lone veteran police detective working on a hunch that resulted in the discovery of Ontario schoolgirl Victoria (Tori) Stafford's remains more than three months after she disappeared, the murder trial of Michael Rafferty heard Friday.

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

Ontario Provincial Police Det.-Staff Sgt. Jim Smyth told the court he was driving to Woodstock, Ont., on July 19, 2009 when he decided to take a detour by going through Mount Forest.

Days earlier, investigators had received information from a nearby cellphone tower that Rafferty had used his phone in the area on April 8, 2009 — the day the child was abducted.

As he was driving along 6th Concession in Arthur Township with the intent of assessing the area before the search teams were called in, Smyth noticed a house that looked like one Rafferty's ex-girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, had told police was near where the girl had been buried.

McClintic, 21, pleaded guilty two years ago to first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence in the death.

"I took a good look at the house and quite frankly, was struck by similarities," he testified, standing in the witness box.

Smyth said he then drove up a rural laneway by the house and found an area with evergreen trees and a 12- to 15-metre rock pile — exactly what McClintic had described in previous police interviews and in drawings supplied to investigators.

By that point, McClintic had gone on numerous drive-alongs, including in a helicopter, to help police locate the girl's body.

As he walked up to the rock pile, he told the court he noticed "a slight odour which I believed to be decomposition."

That was when he spotted a green garbage bag.

"I touched it with my finger. It wasn't hard. It wasn't a rock. It was soft," said Smyth after a long pause.

"I knew that we had finally found Victoria Stafford."

He told the court it took a minute for it to "sink in" that he had found the girl's body. Once that was over, he retraced his steps, reversed his car down the laneway and called head investigator OPP Det.-Insp. Dave Renton.

Smyth, in the days that followed, ensured the scene was not contaminated in any way, and made sure there was 24-hour security so forensics identification officers could do their job.

He accompanied Stafford's body when it was finally removed from the scene the afternoon of July 20.

A coroner in Toronto identified the girl through dental records and concluded that she had died by "blunt force trauma to the head," said Smyth.

He told the court the last role he played in this investigation was on July 31, 2009 when he attended the girl's funeral.

During his testimony, Smyth gave well thought-out, measured responses. At times, he took long pauses to compose himself before answering Crown attorney Michael Carnegie's questions.

The 12-person jury was shown a series of graphic crime scene photographs Friday.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas Heeney reminded jurors that they were welcome to ask for a break if they needed it.

"I simply ask you to do your best, to establish an attitude, a sort of clinical detachment, an analytic view of things," he said in his address.

"Step back. You might find it easier to cope. I know it's easier said than done but I simply ask you to do your best."

Earlier this month, McClintic, 21, testified she lured the girl outside her school with the promise of seeing a puppy and then shoved the child into Rafferty's car.

She admitted to being the woman in the white puffy jacket caught in a highly-publicized surveillance video with the blond-haired girl — the last images of Stafford alive.

McClintic told the court the couple drove with the little girl to Mount Forest, stopping at a Tim Hortons for tea, a friend's house for drugs and a Home Depot so she could buy murder tools.

She alleges that once parked, Rafferty raped the girl, which McClintic said sent her into a murderous rage due to her own childhood molestation. It was this rage that made her strike the girl multiple times with a hammer, she told the court in emotional testimony.

The girl's body was then put into garbage bags in a nearby rock pile, she said.

This testimony contradicted what she had told police until January of this year — that it was Rafferty who wielded the hammer. McClintic explained she had lied to police because she could not accept that she had done something so horrific.

Following Smyth's testimony, it's expected the 12-person jury will soon visit the rural lane way where the child's body was located.

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Normal Tori Stafford trial: Jury visit site where body found

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:25 pm

BY LINDA NGUYEN, POSTMEDIA NEWS APRIL 2, 2012

MOUNT FOREST, Ont. — The farmer's field where a lone police detective found the remains of eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford will be visited Monday by jurors in the trial of an Ontario man charged with her murder.

The 12-member jury will make the 2-1/2-hour trip to the property in Mount Forest, Ont. early in the morning from the London courthouse where the trial against Michael Rafferty has been underway for a month.

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

Tori was last seen on April 8, 2009 outside Oliver Stephens Public School in Woodstock, Ont., a small city located 145 kilometres west of Toronto.

It was supposed to be the first day she walked home by herself without her older brother.

In 2010, Rafferty's ex-girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Tori's death.

Both had been charged on May 19, 2009.

Jurors will be given a guide of eight points of interest on the property and instructed to take their time as they visit each landmark in the scene view.

Each will be labelled with foot-long yellow markers with the letters A-H.

The guide will also suggest a number of viewpoints that might be of interest. The court has instructed the jury that they must remain silent and communication during the visit is restricted, even with each other.


On Friday, Ontario Superior Justice Thomas Heeney gave jurors a number of reminders in preparation for the trip. "You will be taken there so that you will have an easier understanding the evidence given in court," he said.

"You must understand that what you see when we go to that location is not evidence. You're only allowed to use evidence you hear and see in this courtroom in deciding whether Mr. Rafferty is guilty or not guilty."

Also on Friday, Ontario Provincial Police Det.-Staff Sgt. Jim Smyth testified that he found Stafford's remains based on a hunch.

On July 19, 2009, he had decided to drive along side roads in Mount Forest after receiving information that Rafferty had used his cellphone in the area on the day Tori had disappeared.

As he was driving along Concession Road 6th in Arthur Township, he noticed a house that looked like one McClintic had described to him in a confession.

Smyth then drove along a rural laneway along the house, parked and started exploring the farmer's field.

That's when he noticed what looked like green garbage bags underneath a large 12-to-15-metre rock pile.

"I touched it with my finger. It wasn't hard. It wasn't a rock. It was soft," Smyth described to the court. "I knew that we had finally found Victoria Stafford."

After a lengthy pause, he said it took a minute for him to compose himself and have it "sink in" that the little girl had been found.

At that point, the investigation into Stafford's death had grown exponentially.

Hundreds of police officers had been working around the clock in the largest OPP investigation to date to try to recover her body.

Later that day, OPP identification Const. Gary Scoyne testified that some of the rocks found on top of the body weighed as much as 63 pounds. Other rocks that were used to hide the bags were as heavy as 110 pounds.

Audible gasps could be heard in the courtroom as the jury was shown close-ups of the garbage bags, which were stained and ripped in certain areas.

Last month, the Crown's star witness, McClintic, testified that Rafferty had raped the girl and that she struck her multiple times with a hammer in the Mount Forest field.

Tori's body was then put in garbage bags and carried to a nearby rock pile, she said.

This contradicted what she had told the police until January 2012 — that Rafferty killed the girl while she watched, helpless.

McClintic, 21, told the court they were both high on drugs when the abduction and murder took place.

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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:30 pm

Jurors in Rafferty trial visit scene where Tori Stafford's remains were found

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press Apr 02, 2012
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Police and attendants from the Hendrick Funeral Home load the remains of a child into a hearse after a body was found in a field near Mount Forest, Ont. on Monday, July 20, 2009. Jurors in the case of a man accused of first-degree murder in the death of Victoria Stafford will visit the scene Monday where the eight-year-old was killed.

LONDON, Ont. - Jurors in the case of a man accused of first-degree murder in the death of Victoria Stafford have finished getting a first-hand look at the farmer's field where the eight-year-old was killed.

They were at the scene today southeast of Mount Forest, Ont., where the judge said he hoped the jurors would get a better understanding of the evidence.

Members of the media are being allowed to view the area now that the jury has left.

On Friday, the panel saw video and photos of where Tori's remains were found in July 2009, wrapped in a garbage bag and buried under a pile of rocks in a farmer's field.

Tori disappeared outside her Woodstock, Ont., elementary school on April 8, 2009, and she was allegedly killed the same day in the rural area more than 100 kilometres north of her hometown.

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

Terri-Lynne McClintic, 21, is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in Tori's death.

There are eight markers at the scene to guide the jury's visit, from the entry to the laneway Rafferty and McClintic allegedly travelled down with Tori to the spot underneath an evergreen tree where her remains were found.

When McClintic confessed and later pleaded guilty, she said Rafferty had killed Tori using a hammer, but at the trial she testified it was she who dealt the fatal blows.

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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 Apr 04, 2012 1:08 am

Stafford's dad leaves courtroom as autopsy photos shown
Allison Jones | The Canadian Press
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A butterfly earring worn by Victoria Stafford is shown in this evidence photo at the trial of Michael Rafferty on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (HO / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

LONDON, Ont. — Victoria Stafford's father rushed from the courtroom Tuesday as images were shown of the eight-year-old's barely recognizable remains, clothed only in a hooded Hannah Montana T-shirt emblazoned with sparkles and the words "a girl can dream."

WARNING: Graphic details from this court case may disturb some readers.

The slide show detailing the girl's autopsy was shown in court as part of testimony at the trial of Michael Rafferty.

Tori's mother, Tara McDonald, cried while the photos were on courtroom screens while her father, Rodney Stafford, left the room.

Beforehand, Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas Heeney told jurors to brace themselves, saying what they were about to see "cannot help but tug at your heartstrings," but said they had to decide the case without emotion.

"We are, after all, dealing with the death of a little girl," Heeney said.

"You've been warned about graphic images being shown before and they've no doubt been disturbing, but I can tell you that this will be the worst that you will see during the course of this case, so you really need to steel yourselves."

Dr. Michael Pollanen, Ontario's chief forensic pathologist who performed the post-mortem on Tori, also warned jurors, saying such images are "confronting" even for pathologists.

"The body is going to be in a state of decomposition," Pollanen said. "So, while you will recognize some of the body you might not recognize all of it."

By the time Tori's remains were found by a police officer more than three months after she disappeared, they had deteriorated to the point where no evidence of sexual assault could be found, court heard.

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

Tori was abducted outside her Woodstock, Ont., elementary school on April 8, 2009. She was allegedly sexually assaulted and killed in a rural area more than 100 kilometres north. Cause of death was multiple blows to the head with a hammer, court has heard.

Tori's remains had been wrapped in garbage bags and buried under a pile of rocks, forming "a sort of clandestine grave," Pollanen said. She was lying in the fetal position on her right side with rocks as heavy as 50 kilograms on top of her, court heard.

When her remains were transported to the coroner's office in Toronto the next day for an autopsy, Pollanen said it was obvious they were dealing with a child.

"The teeth are not fully developed and the bones are not quite fully developed at that point, and obviously she's quite small," Pollanen testified.

The remains were in a moderately advanced stage of decomposition, to the point where some parts had already become skeletonized, he testified.

In the garbage bags, he also found two plastic bottle caps, a piece of a hair clip and two butterfly earrings. The items, as well as Tori's hooded T-shirt, were shown in court.

The shirt -- with small crystals embedded in the collar, a picture of the character Hannah Montana on the front with sparkles and words written in script -- was the only item of clothing Tori had on, Pollanen testified.

In court, Rafferty wore a purple shirt and purple striped tie -- the same shade of deep purple as the ribbons and clothing Tori's family has taken to wearing in her memory because it was her favourite colour.

Rafferty's ex-girlfriend Terri-Lynne McClintic, 21, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty two years ago to first-degree murder in Tori's death.

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RIP

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:11 am

Impossible from autopsy to tell if Tori Stafford was raped, court hears
Allison Jones, Tuesday, April 03, 2012 7:31 PM
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Victoria Stafford's T-shirt is shown in this evidence photo released Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at the trial trial of Michael Rafferty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

LONDON, Ont. - By the time Victoria Stafford's remains were found — clad only in butterfly earrings and her Hannah Montana T-shirt with the words "a girl can dream" — they were so badly decomposed that it was impossible to tell if she was sexually assaulted, court heard Tuesday.

WARNING: Graphic details from this court case may disturb some readers.

What is clear is that the eight-year-old girl died from at least four hammer blows to her head, and 16 of her ribs were broken or fractured, Ontario's chief forensic pathologist testified.

The Crown alleges Michael Rafferty, 31, raped Tori before killing her, but Dr. Michael Pollanen said that cannot be determined through the pathology.

Tori's remains were so decomposed by the time of the autopsy on July 20, 2009 — one day after a police officer acting on a hunch found them — much of the physical structures in that region of the body had deteriorated completely, he said.

Her body, which lay in the fetal position, was wrapped in garbage bags and placed beneath an evergreen tree, court heard. Large rocks from a nearby pile were put on top, forming a "sort of clandestine grave," Pollanen said.

By the time she was found 103 days after she went missing, Tori's remains were unrecognizable, and had to be identified through dental records.

A broken piece of a hair clip and the earrings court has heard Tori borrowed from her mom were in the garbage bags with her.

The Grade 3 student from Woodstock, Ont., was found in an isolated nook of a farmer's field far from home and out of earshot from the nearest house months after she went missing on April 8, 2009.

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

Tori's mother Tara McDonald wept silently while autopsy photographs were shown and Tori's father Rodney Stafford left the courtroom.

Before the photos were displayed, Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas Heeney told jurors to brace themselves, saying what they were about to see "cannot help but tug at your heartstrings." But he said they had to decide the case without emotion.

"We are, after all, dealing with the death of a little girl," Heeney said.

"You've been warned about graphic images being shown before and they've no doubt been disturbing, but I can tell you that this will be the worst that you will see during the course of this case, so you really need to steel yourselves."

Pollanen, who did the autopsy, also warned jurors, saying such images are "confronting" even for pathologists.

"The body is going to be in a state of decomposition," Pollanen said. "So, while you will recognize some of the body you might not recognize all of it."

When her remains were transported to the coroner's office in Toronto, Pollanen said it was obvious they were dealing with a child.

"The teeth are not fully developed and the bones are not quite fully developed at that point, and obviously she's quite small."

The remains were in a moderately advanced stage of decomposition, to the point where some parts had already become skeletonized, he testified.

Pollanen said Tori was hit with such force that the fractures radiated to her face, 16 of her ribs were broken or fractured, some in several places, and even her liver was damaged while still alive.

In court, Rafferty wore a purple shirt and purple striped tie — the same shade of deep purple as the ribbons and clothing Tori's family has taken to wearing in her memory because it was her favourite colour.

Rafferty's ex-girlfriend Terri-Lynne McClintic, 21, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty two years ago to first-degree murder in Tori's death.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:53 am

Pathologist to return to stand at Stafford murder trial

Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (HO / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Wed Apr. 04 2012 6:53:15 AM

The Associated Press

LONDON, Ont. — Ontario's chief forensic pathologist will return to the stand today at the trial of a man accused of killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford.

Dr. Michael Pollanen testified Tuesday that by the time her remains were found months after she disappeared, they were so badly decomposed it was impossible to tell if she was sexually assaulted.

The pathologist will be cross-examined today at the trial of Michael Rafferty, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.

Pollanen testified that Tori's cause of death was at least four blows to the head with a hammer and that two-thirds of her ribs were broken or fractured.

He also found a six-centimetre laceration in her liver, which would have occurred while she was still alive.

Because of the decomposition Tori had to be identified through dental records, and by a pair of butterfly earrings and a Hannah Montana T-Shirt with the words "a girl can dream."

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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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