On April 8th 2009 an 8 year old little girl went missing from the town of Woodstock, Ontario which is about a 30 minute drive from where I live. In the following days posters with Tori Stafford’s smiling face were plastered everywhere.
People looked. People cared. You could not be in a public place and not hear someone talk about Tori.
On May 21st 2009, tens of thousands of hearts across the province broke when police had announced that they had made an arrest in her murder. They hadn’t found her body, but police were certain she was dead.
I will not mention the name of the the people charged in her abduction and death. They do not deserve the dignity of having a name, I will therefore refer to them as the male and the female.
The female, if I remember correctly plead guilty to her part almost immediately. The male has finally gone to trial.
I do not understand what is going on with this trial.
Much as I tried not to, I did read some of the articles about what was going on in court. The mother was pilloried for her drug use, although she was trying to stop.
I started a blog entry that day called “Apparently if your mom is a drug addict its okay if someone abducts, rapes and murders you.” as that seemed to be what the questioning aimed at Tori’s mom was about. Hasn’t she suffered enough? What has her habits to do with anything? Yes, maybe that’s how the female became aware of Tori, but is that really relevant?
Is the message that if you harm a child you met because their mother is an addict that you’re somehow less responsible??
They made Tori’s teacher relive the final moments of her last day with Tori. Why put her through that? Seriously!!! WHY?!
The media reports every detail, every word. They follow the female’s account of Tori’s final hours. It was heartbreaking, but obscene that they went to that detail.
If Tori had lived her name wouldn’t be published. The humiliation that she suffered in her final hours would not be detailed for everyone to read. Her dignity would’ve been preserved.
If you say “The Public has a Right to Know”….tell me why. I’d be interested to know.
It seems that this entire debacle is aimed at clouding the juries opinion on who actually killed Tori. As in who swung the hammer.
I don’t get this. I do not understand how the legal system can differentiate responsibility in an act like this when both parties admit they were party to this crime.
In my mind it doesn’t matter who did what. They are both guilty of every heinous act. The female is just as guilty of raping Tori as the male. The male is just as guilty as the female of killing Tori (if the female is to be believed at trial…taking responsibility for that particular act).
Its all one and the same and it appears that good people are being dragged through horrific memories so that the male can deflect some of the responsibility.
I would like to point out that kharma is not swayed by legal shenanigans. I cannot think of how either the male or the female can balance their kharma after this. Perhaps a lifetime of selfless service and compassion (and you know that’s not going to happen).
There are a lot of people who are saying that the death penalty should be brought back for these two.
I disagree, but not for the reason you might think.
The dead do not suffer.
Let’s wish them long lives behind bars where they will have to live with what they’ve done. They will not have an easy time in prison. “Skinners” (sex offenders) are reviled and victimized…even the female ones. In this case the fact that Tori’s mom was a drug addict will come into play as many of the inmate population will know, or know someone who knows someone who knew Tori’s mom, making it personal in a subset of the population that solves problems with violence.
So yes, no death penalty for them.
A more appropriate punishment would be to blot them from history. Erase their names, their identities. Give them a scarlet letter so they can’t hide, but make them non-people.
My point in writing this is, that there has to be a point where the legal system has to view a chain of events like what happened to Tori as a single act, and treat both parties, upon conviction, the same.
I have sat here for a few minutes wondering if I should link to blogs and news articles with more information.
I will, but with this warning….descriptions of Tori’s final hours are heart-wrenching. Of course, the perpetrators are named. There is nothing I can do about that.
- (In)justice for Tori Stafford (writteninc.blogspot.com)
- Christie Blatchford: Legal niceties can’t soften brutality of Tori Stafford’s murder (news.nationalpost.com)
- Tori Stafford’s teacher tearfully recalls last time she saw the ‘bubbly’ girl (with video) (vancouversun.com)
- Police officer testifying at Tori Stafford trial (cbc.ca)