Victoria Stafford-Gone but not Forgotten
The horror of what happened to this little girl still haunts me to this day, and as a father of two little girls close to the same age it has caused me to limit the freedoms of my children in an attempt to better protect them. Tori’s parents didn’t have a chance against the evil that was lurking in Woodstock that day. How could they know that allowing her to walk home from school alone was the last thing she would ever do.
It didnt help that Victoria’s mother was high on Oxycontin at the time, and even though Tori was 2 hours late did not call the police because she did not want to alarm anyone, more likely she was more concerned about her own condition. Tori only lived a few blocks from the school and instead of being outside waiting for her to arrive on this important day she was “partying”. Victoria had already been kidnapped, miles away in a car before her mother even started looking for her.
I’m not trying to say there is anything she could have done to prevent this but it sure didn’t help the situation being high and not as alert as she should have been. I know if it was me waiting for my daughter the first time she walked home I would have been standing outside looking up the street waiting for her, and if she was just 5 minutes late would be already on my way to see what was happening. Not just getting concerned 2 hours later and still not calling the police because she was too high and didnt want to get into trouble herself.
I have talked about GPS for children before and some people have expressed concern about loss of privacy and “big brother” issues. There is no doubt that this sort of thing could have saved Tori’s life that day.
In may of 2009 the killers were charged with her rape and murder, and while one of them confessed to the horrendous deed the other plead not guilty and went to trial. Thankfully he was found guilty and they are both now spending life behind bars. No I will not use their names ever again, they don’t deserve to be remembered. The male convicted in this case has now appealed his conviction citing errors by the judge and requesting a new trial even though the appeal was filed late. Such is our justice system he will be allowed to appeal and cost the taxpayers more money in a feeble attempt to escape what is rightfully coming to him.
This case has caused a resurgence in the discussion about capital punishment. Many people believe that for the rape and murder of a child it should be an automatic punishment, with no chance for appeals or leniency. Some people believe that is not civilized and lowers Society to the same level as the killers. What do you think?
The male convicted of Tori’s murder was searching for child porn and “underage rape” on the internet the day before Tori was abducted. That information was withheld from the jury because the police didn’t have a proper warrant for searching his laptop. It is a good thing the case didn’t depend on that evidence for a conviction. More twisted evidence was kept from the jury during trial, like the fact he downloaded the movie about Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo. That was done 2 weeks after Tori disappeared. Maybe he was looking for ideas to hide what he had done, seeing as Karla is now free and living her life as a free sicko at large.
It is also disturbing that Victoria’s mother had actually met her daughters killer before all of this happened. She had been to her house on more than one occasion. Once to buy drugs and another time to discuss breeding their dogs, and although it has been denied this had anything to do with their choice of which child to take one cannot escape the cold irony of these facts.
Police have said recently that cases involving child porn and sexual assault are on the rise. They are seeing more and more of these types of crimes and it is happening all over the world. What the hell? What could motivate someone to commit an act such as this? What can we do to stop this, and prevent these things from ever happening at all? I don’t know if we can, but we can make sure that the people involved and committing these crimes never get the opportunity to do it again.
Victoria Stafford is gone forever, but the people responsible for this will be free to live their lives at some point. There will come a time when they will be free, and that is wrong. Why should those that steal the lives of others be allowed to have their own? Would others capable of doing such a thing be swayed if their own death was the punishment? Is Capital Punishment a deterrent? It is a daily occurrence on the news now that another child is missing, or that one has been found murdered. It happens far more in the United States than in Canada, but as this case has proven we are not immune to these horrors. In the days ahead the convicted killers appeal will be before the courts, and I hope what he did and the life he took is more important than any legal technicality or clerical mistake.
We cannot bring Victoria back, but we can ensure those responsible are punished, and that she is never forgotten.