I know that this has mostly been a personal journal for me but, I need to write about something that has been in the media for the past few years. A little girl, who loved the colour purple, her name was Tori Stafford. Her life was cut violently, tragically short.
April 8, 2009, Tori was kidnapped from her school in Woodstock, Ontario. It was to be the first day she was to walk home by herself. She never made it home that day, nor will she ever again. Michael Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic made sure she didn’t. They kidnapped her and did horrible things to her.
I normally don’t pay much attention to news cases, especially about missing children, it’s just too painful when you have your have your own child. However, Tori’s case touched a nerve in me, a raw one at that. I’m not sure because it happened so close to home, that they passed through my town, or that Tori was almost the same age as my daughter but, I felt as if she could have been my own child.
As of yesterday, the legal debacle has come to an end. Michael Rafferty was convicted of first degree murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault causing bodily harm. The jury was out for one full day in their deliberations. They did a commendable job, especially with what they had to view, and hear on a daily basis during the nine week trial.
After the conclusion of the trial, the public learned yesterday about some very disturbing things that were found in the possession of Michael Rafferty. Unfortunately, due to a court ruling, they were not admissible at trial. He was found to be possession of child pornography, and videos of children being tortured. Just writing these words makes me sick. It’s not the first time.
Rafferty found a willing accomplice in McClintic, and they took a little girl away from her family, the story of her last hours can be found in many articles online. It’s too graphic for me to post, I can’t read it again. I have it in my memory and that’s bad enough. I can only imagine the terror and fear that Tori felt in the last hours of her life.
I wish we had the death penalty in Canada. I know that it would not bring Tori back but, at least we could feel safe knowing that scum of the earth like these two would be gone from the face of the earth forever. Canada needs stiffer laws to protect our children, and the public as a whole.
It’s my personal belief that anyone caught with child pornography should receive an automatic life sentence, with no possibility of parole, ever. I have read of so many cases in the media where offenders are let out of prison, only to re-offend again, and again. Child molesters, people who distribute, make, and download child pornography, are sick individuals. If I had it my way, they would all be shot in the head, with no chance to re-offend.
I wish there was something I could do to stop them.
Rest in peace, Tori. I know you are a beautiful angel.