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Terri-Lynne McCLINTIC





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Kidnapping - Sexual assault
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: April 8, 2009
Date of arrest: May 20, 2009
Date of birth: 1990
Victim profile: Victoria "Tori" Elizabeth Marie Stafford, 8
Method of murder: Repeated blows to the head with a claw hammer
Location: Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
Status: Pleaded guilty to first degree murder on April 30, 2010 and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years
photo gallery 1 photo gallery 2

Murder of Victoria Stafford

Victoria "Tori" Elizabeth Marie Stafford was an eight-year-old Canadian girl abducted from Woodstock, Ontario on April 8, 2009, sexually assaulted and murdered. She was last seen on security camera footage walking with Terri-Lynne McClintic.

Her disappearance and the subsequent investigation and search were the subject of massive media coverage across Canada. The search for her body ended on July 19, 2009, when a child's remains were found in a wooded area in rural Ontario and were immediately believed to be those of Tori Stafford. This was confirmed in a news conference held July 21, 2009.

The police response to the situation as it developed and their failure to announce an Amber Alert has been criticized by the public, and has recently been the focus of a review of the Amber Alert system in Canada. The circumstances of her death were unknown to the public until a publication ban was lifted in December 2010.

Abduction and murder

She was seen for the last time at about 3:32 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2009, on Fyfe Avenue, walking past a high school up the street from Oliver Stephens Public School. She was wearing a black Hannah Montana jacket with a white fur-lined hood, a green shirt, denim skirt, black and white shoes and carrying a purple and pink Bratz bag.

A security video taken from the high school shows her walking with a person of interest. The person of interest is described as a white female aged between 19-25 - 5'1 to 5'2 tall and weighing approximately 120-125 lbs with straight long black hair worn in a pony tail. She was wearing tight black jeans and a white puffy jacket. The case was later featured on America's Most Wanted.

The initial investigation was led by Oxford Community Police Service, but then turned into a joint operation with the Ontario Provincial Police.

On Tuesday, July 21, 2009, at 9:00 am police confirmed the remains found near Mount Forest, Ontario, approximately 500 meters from Concession Road 6, were that of Tori. Stafford was found naked from the waist down, wearing only a Hannah Montana T-shirt and a pair of butterfly earrings that she had borrowed from her mother. Her lower half was significantly decomposed.

During an autopsy it was determined that Tori had suffered through a beating that caused lacerations to her liver and broken ribs. Her eventual death was the result of repeated blows to the head with a claw hammer.


On May 20, 2009, police charged Michael Thomas Rafferty, 28, with first degree murder and Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18, with being an accessory to murder (in addition to lesser charges) in the abduction and suspected murder of Tori. Ontario Provincial Police indicated that Tori's mother, Tara McDonald, was familiar with McClintic. McClintic assisted the police search for the remains of Tori Stafford after her arrest and her lawyer stated that her client "wants Tori's family to know she is trying hard to find her body".

On May 28, 2009, McClintic's charges were altered to a first degree murder charge and an unlawful confinement charge, and it was announced that the accused would be tried separately.

McClintic was scheduled to make an appearance in court on April 30, 2010, but a publication ban was imposed by the judge on the events of the day. The publication ban was lifted on December 9, 2010, revealing that Terri-Lynne McClintic pleaded guilty to first degree murder. She was sentenced to life in prison.

On March 5, 2012, the trial of Michael Rafferty for the kidnapping, sexual assault, and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford commenced. On May 11, 2012, at 9:18 pm ET, the jury found Rafferty guilty on all charges. Four days later he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Claiming that the "judge's instructions to the jury were flawed," Rafferty appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeal for Ontario on July 26, 2012. The 30-day deadline to appeal had passed by the time the papers were received, but this was attributed to his "inability to use the telephone to contact legal counsel," and an extension has been requested. Rafferty’s appeal papers appear to have been filed from Kingston Penitentiary.


Stafford Killer Terri-Lynne McClintic pleads guilty to prison assault

By Jane Sims - QMI Agency

September 12, 2012

LONDON, ONT. - If she had been in a bigger room, Tori Stafford’s killer Terri-Lynne McClintic says she “could have really done some damage” to another inmate she attacked earlier this year.

In a letter intercepted by guards, McClintic explained to another inmate named Krazy why she attacked Aimee MacIntyre on Jan. 30.

“It is what it is, point made, statement just not as loud as I would have liked it to be if you catch what I’m putting down,” she wrote.

“So I’m f------ choked, I don’t even think I did that much f------ damage,” McClinitic wrote.

Later in the letter, she said she “would have preferred a bigger room — then I could have really done some damage.”

McClintic, 22, who is serving a life-sentence for the murder of Tori Stafford, 8, at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont., pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to assaulting MacIntyre.

Justice Colin Westman sentenced McClinitic to six months for the assault, calling the case “troublesome and tragic.”

Court heard McClinitic had planned to fight the charge of assaulting MacIntyre until the letter surfaced.

MacIntyre is also serving a life sentence and was mentoring McClinitc at the time of the assault. Court heard McClintic had asked to have a peer-to-peer support meeting with MacIntyre on Jan. 30. The meetings are part of programming at the prison that allow for mentoring and support.

During the meeting, MacIntyre paused to scratch her head. McClintic got up from her chair and started to punch MacIntyre in the head and kick her.

MacIntyre was on the floor in a fetal position and not fighting back. McClintic continued her assault and several officers saw the attack.

They struggled to pull McClintic off MacIntyre.

MacIntyre was taken to hospital with significant bruising to her head and eye area. She also had a bruise on her arm.

But she required no hospitalization and was given medication before she was returned to the prison for observation.

When she was interviewed by the police on Feb. 2, MacIntyre said she was experiencing headaches and dizziness.

Since that interview, MacIntyre has not been co-operative with the Crown making it impossible to prove the extent of the injuries.

McClintic said little to the police, then admitted to the assault and said she did not want a lawyer.

She gave no reason for the assault.

Crown attorney Julia Forward said the assault was McClintic’s tenth conviction for violence and wanted a six month sentence to reflect the seriousness of the event that was planned, unprovoked and continued even when the victim was cowering for protection.

It would also be on her record if McClintic planned to apply for parole under the faint hope clause after serving 15 years.

Defence lawyer Geoff Snow wanted time served and explained McClintic’s letter was written in anger just hours after the attack and doesn’t show her remorse.

The judge said it was “hard to see” any remorse, given “how neat and how she explains herself” in the two-page letter.

“She seems to have some pretty deep-seeded anger,” Westman said adding that as time passes, “she feels bad.”

McClintic was put in segregation for 30 days and her privileges were gone for two months, Snow said.

Westman gave McClintic credit for pleading guilty and added, “I can’t imagine your turmoil you must feel within yourself.”

“My only hope for you is that you will try the best you can to have a more civil attitude to fellow human beings ... Violence is not the answer.”

In 2010, McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the abduction and beating death of Stafford on April 8, 2009.

McClintic and her then-boyfriend Michael Rafferty abducted Stafford outside her school in Woodstock, Ont., and drove her to an isolated rural area where Rafferty raped her. McClintic then smashed the little girl to death with a hammer.

Rafferty was convicted May 12 of kidnapping, sexual assault causing bodily harm and first-degree murder.


Tori Stafford killer back in court today to face assault charges

By Allison Jones - Canadian Press

September 12, 2012

The woman serving a life sentence for the first-degree murder of Tori Stafford is set to have a trial today on allegations she beat up another inmate.

Terri-Lynne McClintic, 22, will face a charge of assault causing bodily harm in Kitchener, Ont., at what is expected to be a one-day trial.

McClintic pleaded guilty in 2010 to the first-degree murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford, from Woodstock, Ont.

Sentences run concurrently in Canada, so even if she is found guilty her life sentence remains unchanged.

The charge stems from an incident in January at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, where McClintic is serving her life sentence.

McClintic testified at the trial of former boyfriend Michael Rafferty, who was ultimately found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in Tori’s death, and mentioned assaulting someone in prison.

Under questioning from Rafferty’s lawyer McClintic said she had specifically asked to be connected to another inmate in a peer support program and beat her up.

“I confronted her about things that she had said about me,” McClintic testified at Rafferty’s trial.

“Things escalated and there ended up being an assault.”

McClintic agreed with Rafferty’s lawyer, who said the woman was on the ground in a fetal position while McClintic kicked her and stomped on her.

“I did assault her,” she said.

That is also how Tori was killed, though Rafferty’s trial heard conflicting evidence about whether he or McClintic dealt the fatal blows to Tori.

McClintic’s lawyer on the assault causing bodily harm charge has said McClintic will not admit to the charge at trial.

Geoff Snow said in May that McClintic will plead not guilty.

Her testimony from the Rafferty trial cannot be used against her at the assault trial because she was compelled to give evidence at the hearing, he said.

McClintic lured Tori away from her school in Woodstock, Ont., at the end of the school day on April 8, 2009, with the promise of seeing a dog.

McClintic shoved Tori in Rafferty’s waiting car and the two of them drove about 130 kilometres north to a secluded field, where she was raped and brutally beaten to death.

She died from at least four blows to the head from a hammer and 16 of her ribs were broken or fractured.

The Crown alleges McClintic got into a fight with Aimee McIntyre, who is also serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the death of her former lover, though a new trial was recently ordered.

McIntyre’s trial heard that she drove two men to her ex-boyfriend’s apartment, one of them stabbed him six times, then McIntyre drove the pair away from the scene, helped them dispose of the knife and helped wash their clothes.

The two men pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. McIntyre’s lawyer had argued that at most she was guilty of manslaughter.

In a decision released in May the Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled that the trial judge made several errors that mean she did not receive a fair trial. The court set aside her first-degree murder conviction and ordered a new trial.


Tori Stafford murder trial at a glance

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details

CBC News

May 15, 2012

Michael Rafferty has been found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in the death of Victoria (Tori) Stafford, the eight-year-old girl who disappeared outside her Woodstock, Ont., school three years ago.

Tori, went missing April 8, 2009, and her body was found July 19, 2009, in a field in Mount Forest, Ont., about 100 kilometres from her hometown.

Rafferty, 31, had pleaded not guilty to all three of the charges he faced.

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 during Rafferty's trial.

This is a review some of the most significant moments of the trial.

The trial

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The court hears about McClintic's troubled upbringing, her drug addiction and past criminal record.

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.

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.

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.

March 20 — The jury is given another one-day break as the lawyers and judge discuss a legal matter.

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.

Defence lawyer Dirk Derstine begins his cross-examination of McClintic, questioning her about a series of letters she wrote from prison in 2007 and 2008 in which she expressed a desire to kill and torture others.

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.

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.

March 27 — Rafferty's friend and former girlfriend, Barbara Armstrong, testifies she sold him drugs from her Guelph, Ont., home on the afternoon of April 8, 2009, about one hour after Tori went missing. She tells the court Rafferty appeared relaxed and that she saw a dark-haired woman in the car.

The Crown contends that Tori was in the car with McClintic and that Rafferty bought the drugs before driving to a Home Depot in Guelph and ultimately the rural area where the schoolgirl’s body was found.

The jury sees Rafferty's bank records, which show he withdrew $80 from an ATM near the Home Depot, and video of McClintic purchasing a hammer from the store with cash.

Armstrong testifies she saw Rafferty a few days after the eight-year-old's disappearance and he appeared "haggard" and "super stressed," although he also said he would help in the search to find the missing girl.

March 28 — Jurors hear from a woman who found a pair of shoes along a rural road north of Guelph in April 2009. The white and blue basketball shoes match the ones McClintic says she threw out of Rafferty's car as the two drove away after disposing of Tori's body.

March 29 — No court proceedings.

March 30 — OPP Det. Staff Sgt. Jim Smyth testifies about his involvement in the investigation into Victoria's disappearance. He describes to the jury his interrogation of McClintic and how he and other officers took her along on their search for Victoria's body.

He testifies that when he drove out to Mount Forest on July 19, 2009, he was merely assessing the area and not expecting to find a body, but he recognized a house that seemed to be the one McClintic had described when talking about the area where Victoria was killed. Smyth followed a laneway near the house that eventually led him to the pile of rocks under which the girl's body was found.

The jury also hears from Const. Gary Scoyne, a forensic identification officer with the OPP who first testified at the trial on March 7. He presents a series of photographs of the rural area where Tori's remains were found and the state in which police found them.

April 2 — The jury visits the rural area in Mount Forest where Tori's remains were found and where her killing is alleged to have taken place. Jurors are given a guidebook prepared by the Crown and police that shows landmarks described in trial testimony and that appear in drawings McClintic had made for police to help in their search for Victoria's body.

Jurors spend about 30 minutes at the site before retuning to London. The judge had instructed them to use what they saw at the site not as evidence but to better understand testimony and evidence presented in court.

April 3 — Ervin Bauman, the owner of the land where Tori's body was discovered, testifies that the area where her remains were found is almost two kilometres from his home and is rarely used during the winter. His testimony is followed by that of Michael Pollanen, chief forensic pathologist for the province of Ontario who performed the autopsy on Victoria's body.

Pollanen describes the nature of the girl's injuries and tells the court that determining whether or not she was sexually assaulted was beyond the scope of medical evidence, because of the extent of decomposition of her body. He testifies that although the autopsy revealed numerous rib fractures, liver damage and internal bleeding, it was several blows to the head that were the cause of death.

The jury, who had been warned by the judge that the pathology evidence would be graphic and that they could ask for a break in proceedings, is shown some of the autopsy photographs.

April 4 — During cross-examination, Pollanen testifies that his forensic analysis of Tori's injuries is unable to determine who inflicted the blows that killed her and that the "medical evidence is "silent" on the question of whether or not she was sexually assaulted.

The jury hears from OPP Sgt. John James Stirling, who describes the massive police operation launched to search for Tori. He testifies that officers sifted through hundreds of tonnes of garbage at a landfill, flew almost 1,000 kilometres in a helicopter and walked 51 kilometres along the shoulder of Highway 401 in an effort to locate the girl or clues to her disappearance.

The jury hears from a number of police officers who were involved in the arrest of Rafferty on the evening of May 19, 2009, and from OPP Const. Scoyne, a forensic identification office who has testified on several occasions throughout the trial. Scoyne presents photos of items found in McClintic's home after her arrest, including a missing poster for Tori and a piece of paper with the phone number of Tori's mother written on it.

April 5 — OPP Const. Scoyne returns to court and tells the jury that while executing a search warrant at Rafferty's home, police found a receipt for hair dye that had been purchased three days after Tori disappeared and matched a box of hair dye found in McClintic's home. He testifies that police also found a missing poster distributed during the search for Tori, a black pea coat and several water bottles.

McClintic had testified earlier that a black pea coat was used to cover Tori in the back seat of Rafferty's car and that Rafferty has used water bottles to clean himself after he allegedly raped Tori. Two bottle caps were found with the girl's remains.

A Crown document read to the court describes how two undercover police officers posing as inmates were put in the same jail cell as Rafferty after his arrest and told to listen to what he said. The document said Rafferty asked them whether they had drugs and admitted to using oxycontin and percocet, prescription pain medications that are also used as recreational drugs, on a daily basis.

April 10 — The trial adjourns for one day because Rafferty's defence lawyer is ill with the flu.

April 11 — The jury hears from several experts from the Ontario Centre of Forensic Sciences. Forensic biologist Jennifer McLean testifies that DNA testing revealed that a blood sample collected from Rafferty's Honda Civic almost certainly came from Tori and that DNA found in a gym bag inside the car likely came from Tori, Rafferty and one other individual. McLean also testifies that a mixture of blood and semen was found on the back of the front passenger seat.

Barbara Doupe, a hair and fibre expert, testifies that a piece of fabric that appeared to have been cut with a knife was found in Rafferty's car. McClintic had testified earlier that Rafferty had instructed her to cut out a portion of his back seat and throw it out the window.

April 12 — Sarah Hodge, a woman Rafferty met on a dating website, testifies that in the days after Tori's disappearance Rafferty was constantly checking media reports about the case and claimed to have "inside information" on drug use by Tori's mother. She tells the court that Rafferty talked with her about how children who have been abducted can grow up thinking their abductors are their parents.

Hodge testifies that when she met Rafferty his car had no back seat.

The court also hears from a number of Rafferty's neighbours who said they saw a vehicle seat in front of his Woodstock home for garbage pickup sometime during the spring of 2009.

Under cross-examination, the forensic biologist who had testified a day earlier testifies that the DNA evidence collected from Rafferty's car could not determine when the samples were deposited and was unable to reveal whether Rafferty had raped Tori.

The jury also hears from a woman Rafferty asked out shortly before Tori's disappearance. She testifies that she ditched Rafferty after their first date because he seemed "really needy."

April 13 — The court hears from several female acquaintances of Rafferty. One ex-girlfriend testifies that while they were dating a few years ago, Rafferty often took her on drives down side roads in areas south of Mount Forest and seemed to know where he was going. Another woman tells the court that Rafferty consoled her during the girl's disappearance.

The jury hears again from Hodge, who testifies that after Tori disappeared, Rafferty changed his status on the dating website he used to "Bring Tori home."

A former employer of Rafferty's tells the court that while employed at his landscaping business, Rafferty worked at one landfill site that was about five kilometres from where Tori was killed.

April 17 — Another woman who dated Rafferty around the time of Tori's disappearance testifies he appeared to be distraught after he was first interviewed by police concerning the girl's disappearance. Joy Woods tells jurors Rafferty was "very upset" after investigators spoke with him at his home in Woodstock on May 15, 2009.

Jennifer Etsell, who dated Rafferty in 2006, says she would often drive him from Guelph to her home in Hanover, a route that runs through Mount Forest and comes close to the field where Tori's body was found. Under cross-examination, Etsell explains they remained on the highway during their travels.

April 18 — The jury hears about Rafferty's online activities from OPP Det. Const. Leslie Waldron, including an entry on his Facebook page posted just hours before Tori disappeared that read: "Everything good is coming my way."

Jennifer Meloche — one of the more than a dozen women Rafferty dated in the spring of 2009, including seven he met after Tori's disappearance — testifies Rafferty talked about a "friend" named Terri who was in juvenile detention, an apparent reference to McClintic. Meloche says Rafferty thought police were treating him as "guilty by association" after his first interview with police because he knew her.

Meloche says Rafferty was constantly on his BlackBerry, checking his emails and sending text messages — a common observation reported by the women he was dating in 2009.

April 19 — David Broad, senior manager for information security and digital forensics at Bell Canada, presents Rafferty's BlackBerry records, which show a number of data and voice calls were made in Woodstock, Guelph and near Mount Forest the day Tori disappeared. The location and time data, obtained from cellular towers, seem to match up with the timeline of events described by McClintic.

Under cross-examination, Broad explains that the data is only good at determining when a call was started and another radio transmission expert, Mustafa Bakhtyar, testifies that it cannot be used to pinpoint a person's location.

April 20 — A former girlfriend of Rafferty testifies that he asked her to work as an escort and she gave him almost $17,000 between December 2008 and May 2009. She told jurors she thought she was in an exclusive relationship with him between April 2008 and his arrest.

She said the two communicated frequently through BlackBerry messenger. On April 8, 2009, however, she said there were periods when Rafferty did not respond to her queries.

April 24 — Jurors are given a one-day break as a legal matter is discussed.

April 25 — OPP Det. Const. Gordon Johnson testifies that Rafferty kept in communication with McClintic in the days following Tori's disappearance, exchanging a number of texts and calls with a cellphone she used.

Rafferty also visited her in a juvenile detention centre after she was arrested on Apri 12, 2009, on an unrelated matter. Video shows the two appeared to be happy, laughing, smiling and hugging each other.

April 26 — The Crown wraps its case as a police expert in forensic video analysis, OPP Special Const. Gerald Lanna, says Rafferty's Honda Civic cannot be excluded as the vehicle seen driving in the area of Oliver Stephens Public School just moments before McClintic is seen leading Tori away.

Lanna says he was able to more positively identify Rafferty's car at a nearby Esso station around 3:20 p.m. on the day Tori disappeared.

May 1 — The defence calls a single witness, a woman who picked up her grandchildren from Oliver Stephens Public School the day Tori disappeared, ending speculation Rafferty would testify. The grandmother, whose name is protected by a publication ban, tells jurors she saw a woman matching McClintic's description enter the school and later saw her walking down the street with a young girl.

Defence lawyer Derstine also reads out an agreed statement of facts that said there was 326 students at Tori's school the day she vanished.

May 7 — Derstine tells the jury that McClintic is an "accomplished liar" with a history of violence during his closing argument. Taking aim at McClintic's credibility and the prosecution's case, the defence lawyer argues that McClintic was the engine behind Stafford's abduction and death.

Rafferty's mother, Deborah Murphy, spoke to reporters outside the courthouse, saying her son is not guilty.

May 8 — The Crown begins closing arguments as the trial nears its end. Prosecutor Kevin Gowdey reviews much of the evidence presented so far, suggesting Rafferty was in control during the alleged abduction of Tori. Gowdey says McClintic was a "violent pawn" used by Rafferty.

Rodney Stafford, who has been present throughout most of the trial, leaves during the middle of the proceedings saying it was too difficult to hear about the last moments of his daughter's life.

May 9 — The Crown wrapped up its closing argument, with Gowdey telling the jury that most of the testimony of the woman now serving time in the killing of schoolgirl Victoria (Tori) Stafford can be believed.

May 10 — The jury begins deliberations after Justice Heeney issued his final instructions in the London courtroom.

May 11 — Rafferty is found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping in the death of Tori Stafford.

May 15 — Rafferty is sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. At the sentencing hearing at a London, Ont., courthouse, Rafferty apologized to Tori's family but maintained he is not guilty of the three charges levelled against him in this case. Tori's family members were also given a chance to detail their suffering when victim impact statements were read in court.


Tori Stafford trial: How Terri-Lynne McClintic became a killer

By Raveena Aulakh -

May 11, 2012

LONDON, ONT.—The tension was high well before Terri-Lynne McClintic took the stand on March 13.

But she made it explode. What she left behind was a shocked and numbed audience — and even more disturbing questions about how this young woman became a killer.

As the crown’s star witness in its case against her ex-lover, Michael Rafferty, McClintic unravelled a horrific tale of Tori Stafford’s last moments. How she, McClintic, put a garbage bag on the little girl’s head and kicked her. She kicked, she stomped, she bludgeoned Tori’s head with a hammer.

“I savagely murdered that little girl,” said McClintic.

Tori’s mother, Tara McDonald, buried her head in her fists. Her father, Rodney Stafford, wiped tears away with his shirt sleeve. Reporters were too shook up to type on laptops. Some spectators cried openly, most jurors looked dazed.

How could McClintic do this? How did she ever get this way?

As a child, she microwaved a little dog till it screamed.

As a young teen, she listened to Necro, a Jewish-American rapper who says he invented “death rap.”

As an 18-year-old, she lured and killed Tori.

As a 21-year-old, she got into a fight in prison and kicked and stomped on another inmate.

The questions persist. That is the mystery of Terri-Lynne McClintic.

Creepy crawling, in ya crib, we’re comin’ to kill. Catch you while ya sleep, wake up to a gun in ya grill. Doing Satan’s business, tie you up, hang you 22 cal. Bang bang you — Mephisto with a pistol.

‘Creepy Crawl’ by Necro

McClintic was born to a stripper in Woodstock in 1990. At birth, her mother handed her over to Carol McClintic, her best friend and a fellow stripper. Carol became her mother and in the next few years, the two lived all over Ontario, moving every couple of years. They lived in Guelph, Hamilton, North Bay, Parry Sound, Muskoka.

The moves meant McClintic attended many schools. Her attendance, she admitted, was always a problem. At school, she says she was bullied because she was a stripper’s daughter.

When she was about 7 and living in Guelph, Children’s Aid began what became a long-running interest.

It’s not clear where McClintic was when she started doing drugs, but she was about 8 years old — the same age as Tori when she was abducted and killed. McClintic started with weed, slowly graduating to harder drugs.

From then until 18, she was a serious drug-user.

She spent her childhood at two foster homes and her teenage years at detention homes. From age 12 to 17, she had been in and out for numerous misdemeanours such as fighting and was convicted of assault at least six times.

Even in youth detention, she was perpetually in trouble. She wrote long, lurid letters and diary entries in which she threatened those who had wronged her, venting about “slaughtering” someone and “ripping out each bone.”

She signed those letters “murderouz bitchez,” a sign-off she liked for herself and a friend.

Life was not any better outside the juvenile homes. In 2006, McClintic, then 16, got into a fight with her mother, punching Carol and almost causing her to go blind in one eye.

But, in May 2009, Carol told the Star that her daughter had come home a few months before as a changed person. “We have been tighter than before,” said Carol. She also said her daughter had been molested when she was about 4 or 5. Carol said she stopped it as soon as she found out.

Sometime in 2008, the mother and daughter moved to a dilapidated two-bedroom house in Woodstock. McClintic didn’t have any friends, but gradually came to know drug dealers in the town.

In early 2009, in the months leading up to Tori’s abduction and murder, McClintic was taking antidepressants, popping OxyContin and ecstasy pills regularly, injecting morphine and smoking weed.

The lone positive influence in her life was her godmother.

And it was to her godmother that McClintic recently admitted from prison that as a child, she had microwaved a tiny family dog. At the time of the horrid act, she had claimed the dog had been attacked by another animal. The dog was put down.

Animal torture by young people is considered by forensic psychiatrists as a harbinger of adult psychopathic behaviour.

Then in February 2009, she met Rafferty and, it appears, fell in love.

Let’s talk about dead body disposal, my proposal take the corpse to the bathtub. And drain the blood out of the bastard, strip ya self nude first so you don’t get blood on ya new shirt.

‘Dead Body’ Disposal by Necro

Even if McClintic and Rafferty’s paths had not crossed, was there any hope for her? For her life filled with drugs, violence and anger? And, as ironic as it sounds, was falling in love her final undoing?

McClintic and Rafferty first met at a New Orleans Pizza outlet in Woodstock in February 2009.

They struck up a conversation while waiting for pizza and Rafferty, who called her a “cute number,” offered her a ride home. They sat and chatted in the car in the driveway. Instead of going in the house, McClintic went for a drive with Rafferty.

They drove around Woodstock and Ingersoll. They talked about OxyContin. They had sex in the car.

In the next few weeks, he showed up at her place regularly and she gave him OxyContin. They also went to the movies, spent a night at the local motel.

McClintic was in love.

“He always said the right things,” she said wearily while testifying. “Compared to most men who have been a part of my life . . . it felt pretty good.”

McClintic says she doesn’t know what happened to her on April 8, 2009, the day she lured Tori as the little girl walked home from school. Or when she bought a hammer and garbage bags from a Home Depot. Or why she led Tori back to Rafferty so he could rape her again. Or why she took the hammer and, in a rage, rained blows on Tori’s head.

She was possibly under the influence of drugs, but she wasn’t a few days later when she landed at Genest Detention Centre in London for breaching probation orders, and where Rafferty phoned her almost every day and visited her.

She told him she would take the blame if it ever came to that. She remembers telling him: “I’m just an 18-year-old junkie anyway, so I’ll just take the fall for everything.”

The last time she saw him at Genest was May 12, 2009. Recounting the scene in the courtroom, she remembers touching his face. He looked up and laughed and he said, “You’ll do anything for a little bit of love, eh?’”

McClintic looked straight ahead as she said that in court.

If there was a single poignant moment during her six-day testimony, this was it.

Blast you with Metallica, rip ya head to shreds like Hallagher’s sledge hammer, you’re dead like the space shuttle Challenger. Scar clashes, car crashes, guitar thrashes, barbaric fascist, smashing you like Cassius.

‘No Remorse’ by Necro

In the end, it did not take long for McClintic to confess.

On May 19, 2009, she walked into an interview room confidently and walked out a few hours later after giving devastating evidence against Rafferty, fingering him as the one who raped Tori and then killed the little girl with hammer blows.

Why? Investigators had almost nothing on her or Rafferty. In fact, until the day she confessed, the primary focus of the police investigation had been Tori’s family.

The rumour mill in Woodstock then was that McClintic had heard at the detention centre that Rafferty was dating many women, sleeping around.

Another theory is that when Rafferty was first interviewed by police on the evening of May 15, 2009, he called her up at Genest and said he wouldn’t be visiting or phoning her for a while.

On the witness stand, McClintic, mostly solemn and polite, said she confessed that day because it was the right thing to do.

Did she really want to come clean, or was this the wrath of a woman scorned? And three years later, what made her turn around and confess that it was she, not Rafferty, who bludgeoned Tori?

The crucial details of Tori’s rape and murder in her police statement never changed: where Tori and Rafferty were when he was raping her, what side of the car where he threw Tori down, how he washed his genitals with water from plastic bottles.

In her turnaround statement to OPP Det. Sgt. Jim Smyth on Jan. 14, 2012, McClintic was vague and took long pauses while answering questions, raising even more questions.

At one point, she said: “Maybe I did not walk away from the car, but he called me back in the car so I went back in the car and I killed her.”

Much of her new statements don’t add up.

So the question is: Why did she take the blame?

That is the McClintic mystery.

What everyone knows, however, is that while in prison, McClintic told her godmother that she was sad about Tori’s death, but only because Tori was a child.

McClintic said yes, she could do it again.


Tori Stafford trial: Child-porn evidence the jurors never heard


May 11, 2012

LONDON, ONT. — In early 2009, someone named Mychol googled “underage rape,” “real underage rape” and “real underage rape pictures” on his laptop. Between Jan. 25 and April 7, 2009, he also searched keywords like “real rape,” “the best program to download child porn,” and “nude preteen.”

Mychol was Michael Rafferty. And Tori Stafford disappeared on April 8, 2009.

The evidence found in the Internet searches was never presented to the jury of nine women and three men now determining the fate of the 31-year-old Rafferty. He has pleaded not guilty to the abduction, rape and murder of 8-year-old Tori.

Justice Thomas Heeney found that Rafferty’s Charter rights were violated when investigators did a forensic search on his laptop without a warrant, and he ruled the evidence obtained inadmissible. Heeney also said the Internet searches would be prejudicial and could emotionally bias the jurors against Rafferty.

There was more that was kept from the jury. Only now, with jurors sequestered and under the constant scrutiny of court officials, can those details be reported.

Investigators found child pornography — or evidence that child porn had been accessed — on Rafferty’s laptop, iPod and a 20 GB hard drive that was found in his home and linked to a previous computer he used.

Police found nine child porn “movies” on the hard drive. It is not known exactly when they were downloaded or how long they were.

The investigation uncovered 13 women who reported that Rafferty had a penchant for sexual choking — some of which they said was not consensual.

Investigators said they were told Rafferty had one woman who was reluctant to participate in his sexual violence sign a consent note, saying she agreed “to what Mike and I are doing tonight sexual choking and passing out and other things.”

The jury was sequestered at about 5:30 p.m. on Thursday just as Heeney wrapped up giving them 104 pages of instructions.

The jury can find Rafferty guilty of manslaughter, second-degree murder, first-degree murder or not guilty. They can either find him guilty as the principal player, who killed Tori, or by aiding and abetting the crime, Heeney said.

With the other two charges of abduction and sexual assault causing bodily harm, there is a straight choice: guilty or not guilty.

Rafferty appeared to listen carefully as Heeney gave instructions, occasionally closing his eyes and leaning back.

Tori, 8, was abducted while she was walking home from school in Woodstock. Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic, then lovers, were arrested a month later and charged. Tori’s body was found on July 19, 2009. McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison in April 2010.

Rafferty’s trial started March 5, drawing as much attention as Tori’s abduction did three years ago.

Through the nine weeks of the trial, the jury also never heard that on March 28, 2009, Rafferty downloaded Gardens of the Night on his laptop — a little-known Hollywood movie about the abduction of a pretty blond girl while she is on her way home from school.

That was just days before Tori was abducted.

The Crown wanted to enter the movie as evidence of motive and planning. But Heeney ruled that the film’s “prejudicial impact outweighs its marginal probative value.” In pre-trial rulings, he also pointed out that the little girl’s abduction in the movie was carefully planned, while the Crown would rely on evidence that Tori was randomly plucked from the street.

But it was the child-porn search phrases the Crown fought hardest to see entered as evidence.

Search terms such as “underage rape,” “real underage rape” and “real underage rape photos” were evidence of motive and planning, the Crown argued.

Dirk Derstine, Rafferty’s lawyer, said the three search queries, on their own, would place undue emphasis on an interest in underage rape, distorting the fact-finding process.

(Other terms Rafferty searched for included “necrophilia videos,” “naked girls seazing,” “epileptic naked attack,” and “seizure girls.”)

Heeney ruled “it would be hard for the jury to resist the temptation to conclude that the applicant is a sexual deviant who is, therefore, more likely to have committed the rape and murder of the victim, despite instructions to the contrary.”

The Crown also sought to put into evidence data that showed Rafferty, who hadn’t previously shown any interest in news websites, constantly accessed those sites after the abduction and kept track of progress in the case.

The Crown said this showed Rafferty was wanting to stay a step ahead of the police.

But Heeney pointed out that Rafferty would have been only one of hundreds of Woodstock residents who wanted to stay updated about developments in the case.

On March 13, 2009, Rafferty googled “children for sale” and “sale of babys,” while on April 23, 2009 — two weeks after Tori’s disappearance — Rafferty googled the movie Karla, which was based on the case of serial killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.

In March 2006, Rafferty also used his MySpace account to send multiple emails indicating that he wanted to marry an Asian woman. He wrote: “Hey, I’m Mike from Canada, I’m looking for a girl who really wants to move to Canada but needs to get married to do so ... I have a good job and a place of my own ... I am willing to marry someone just so they can move here and obtain a green card.”

At the end of the email, he wrote, “all for a price of course.”

Investigators say he received many replies.

Even without all this controversial information, the emotional temperature of the trial remained high.

On April 3, Ontario’s chief forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Pollanen, who conducted the autopsy, gave evidence that Tori had 16 fractured ribs, a 15-centimetre cut to the liver and her head split in many places. That day, Rafferty showed up in a purple shirt.

Purple was Tori’s favourite colour.

Tori’s family looked aghast. Rodney Stafford, the dead girl’s father, left the courtroom.

Throughout the trial, the courthouse in downtown London was abuzz about the goings on in Courtroom 21, especially when the jury was excused. But like a well-rehearsed play, by the time the jurors took their seats every day, they heard only what was in the script — carefully packaged and edited for them in advance.

Other details the jury did not hear:

- Rafferty did not want the trial to be held in London. One of the venues Derstine promoted was Hamilton.

- Rafferty wanted to sit beside his lawyer during the trial. But Heeney ruled that, because this case required high security, Rafferty should be seated in the dock.


Terry-Lynne McClintic pleads guilty to killing Tori Stafford

By Randy Richmond - The London Free Press

December 9, 2010

The little girl went back to class to get her butterfly earrings.

The woman went into the store to get garbage bags and a hammer.

The girl was found covered in garbage bags, killed by "multiple force blunt impact."

Nearby were the butterfly earrings.

With those simple but harsh connections exposed, Terry-Lynne McClintic, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison in the death of eight-year-old Victoria 'Tori' Stafford.

But in a long, emotional day in court April 30 -- unable to be reported on until now -- McClintic offered no real explanation for why she lured the bright-eyed girl to her death with the promise of seeing a puppy.

"I didn't wake up that morning thinking I was going to take a child," McClintic, at times sobbing, at times her words barely understandable, told court.

"Every day I think that maybe if I hadn't walked down the street that day, that precious little angel would still be here. Every day I ask myself why. Why did I tell myself that everything would be okay? Just why? I can't honestly explain my thought process on that day."

She offered an apology to Tori's family, watching in a stony silence.

"A million tears will never be enough and a million words would never be able to express how truly sorry I am."

Her words brought little comfort.

"It was garbage, you can print that," Tori's mother, Tara McDonald, said in an interview later. "I don't want to hear your apologies. There are not enough apologies in this. If you apologize every day until the day you die it is never going to be enough. Never."

A Supreme Court of Canada decision today allows the media to report a limited amount of information released in Woodstock court April 30, including:

- The fact that McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, was convicted and given the mandatory life sentence. She will be ineligible for parole for 25 years.

- Victim impact statements from Tori Stafford's family.

- An edited version of McClintic's statement to court.

- An edited version of what happened April 8, 2009, the day Tori Stafford went missing.

- An edited version of a statement of facts outlining McClintic's dealings with police and the search for Tori's body.

- The reasons for the partial publication ban imposed on the April 30 hearing.

The drama of that day in court can also, finally, be reported.

Told a few days earlier that McClintic was going to plead guilty, the family and friends of Tori filed quietly into the third- floor courtroom of the historic Woodstock courthouse and filled several rows on one side of the courtroom.

McClintic's mother, Carol, sat in the middle of the courtroom several metres away.

On the other side of the courtroom from the family sat dozens of reporters aware this was going to be no ordinary hearing.

There was silence as McClintic was brought into court, wearing a tailored black suit and a cream shirt, her hair pulled back.

She was neither handcuffed nor shackled.

At times sitting, at times standing in a prisoner's box with plexiglass walls, McClintic herself cried frequently. After several family members read statements about the impact of Tori's death, McClintic threw up in a waste paper basket.

She began her day in court replying softly to questions from Justice Dougald McDermid.

You are charged with first-degree murder. What is your plea? McDermid asked.

" Guilty," McClintic replied in a soft monotone.

A charge of kidnapping was dropped.

Several times, McDermid questioned McClintic about her motive for pleading guilty to first-degree murder, making sure she understood she was heading for life in prison.

Her voice breaking, McClintic replied:

"It seems like the right thing to do."

Before a summary of McClintic's role in the killing was read aloud, Tara McDonald, crying, and some of her family left the courtroom.

Rodney Stafford, Tori's father, and others remained in their seats.

"I wanted to see her suffer," Tori's aunt, Randi Millen said in an interview several days after the hearing. "I wanted that. She looked disgusted with herself."

In a quick, yet emotionless voice, Crown Attorney Geoff Beasley read aloud the details of the day Tori disappeared in the agreed statement of facts. Only some of those details can be reported now.

McClintic spent the day doing the ordinary tasks that belied a life on the edge of poverty and disarray.

She got some food vouchers and food, tried but failed to apply for a job, then ended up outside Oliver Stephens elementary school in Woodstock.

Tori had been in line with her schoolmates waiting to get out, but rushed to get her mother's earrings that she had borrowed that day and left in class. She made it back in line with the rest of her classmates when the bell rang.

From 3:25 p.m. to 3:32 p.m, Tori walked alone north on Fyfe Ave., toward her new home on Frances St.

She was the first child McClintic saw walking toward her.

McClintic struck up a conversation with Tori, telling the girl she had a Shih Tzu dog.

Tori told McClintic she had the same kind of dog.

McClintic invited Tori to come and see her dog. A surveillance video shows the two walking into the parking lot of a nursing home.

The two went to Guelph and at 5:12 p.m., McClintic bought a hammer and garbage bags at the Home Depot on Woodlawn Rd. in Guelph.

The pair then went to a location north of Guelph.

"In a remote location on a side road in the 6th Concession north of Arthur Township, Victoria Elizabeth Stafford was murdered and her body was concealed," Beasley read.

Between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Terri-Lynne McClintic returned to her residence in Woodstock.

As soon as police released a videotape of a woman walking with Tori on Fyfe Ave., they received tips the woman was McClintic.

They took her into custody April 12 on an unrelated matter. But it took until May 19, after several rounds of questioning and a polygraph test, for McClintic to admit her involvement.

The edited version of events released after the April 30 court hearing cleared up some of the mysteries and rumours surrounding the abduction, killing and search for Tori's body -- which riveted a nation in the spring of 2009.

B McClintic said she did not know Tori. The girl was simply the first child she saw walking toward her after school that day.

B Tori was killed in the remote wooden area where her body was hidden.

But the information released in court does not clear up other mysteries and re-ignites questions about police actions when the little girl was abducted.

For example, the official statement of facts states police considered the case one of abduction as early as April 9.

In public, police insisted the case was not one of abduction, and Woodstock children were safe, until April 17.

Also released from the April 30 hearing were the heart-aching victim impact statements from Tori's family, some read in court that day, some videotaped earlier.

"The emptiness is overwhelming," Tara McDonald said in court. "I miss her so much that many times, if I didn't have my son, I probably would have taken my own life because the agony of not having her with me is so great."

The girl's father, Rodney Stafford, asked aloud the questions he longed to ask his daughter, questions for which there are no longer answers.

"Hey Victoria, are you ready to go to the prom? Victoria, are you ready to graduate? Are you ready to walk down the aisle, Victoria?"

At the April 30 hearing, McDermid issued a sweeping and controversial publication ban that allowed the media to report only that McClintic had a court appearance scheduled for that date.

On May 18 lawyers presented their arguments for and against a ban.

The next day, McDermid ruled that the ban be partially lifted.

But that ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Supreme Court denied leave to appeal on Dec. 9, meaning McDermid's original ruling of May 20 stands, allowing a partial ban.

The reasons for the ban centre on the fact that co-accused Michael Thomas Rafferty has yet to go to trial.

"In my opinion, publishing the fact that Ms. McClintic pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Victoria Elizabeth Stafford and was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment does not present a real and substantial risk to the fairness of Mr. (Michael Thomas) Rafferty's trial," McDermid ruled.

The trial judge for Rafferty will make it clear to the jury McClintic's plea has no bearing on whether Rafferty is guilty, McDermid said.

But McDermid stopped short of allowing all the details of Tori's death to be revealed before Rafferty's trial.

" . . . with respect to evidence about the circumstances giving rise to and surrounding the murder of Victoria Elizabeth Stafford, I believe a publication ban is necessary in order to prevent a real and substantial risk to the fairness of Mr. Rafferty's trial."

Some information in the original statement of facts is "sensational, inflammatory and evokes a visceral response," McDermid said.

In the months that followed the hearings, Stafford and other family members expressed in interviews with The Free Press a a wild tangle of emotions such as anger at what they heard in court and some relief that one step in the long road to justice had been taken.

"Nothing would ever make up for what she went through." said her paternal grandmother Doreen Graichen. "There is no justice . . . that is a big enough price."

On April 30, however, family members walked out of the courthouse and through a gated parking lot to their vehicles with few words for reporters -- their only reaction to the horror of what they heard in court that day a grim silence.



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