A study in time: the Tori Stafford investigation evolved slowly, deliberately

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

LONDON, Ont. - A chronology of key dates and times in the abduction and murder of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford. WARNING: Graphic details from this court case may disturb some readers.

April 8, 2009

3:25 p.m.: Dismissal bell rings at Oliver Stephens school; Victoria leaves one minute later than other kids after she runs back inside to get her mom's butterfly earrings.

3:32 p.m.: Terri-Lynne McClintic leads Tori away from school, into a retirement home parking lot. One minute later, a car similar to Rafferty's is seen driving away from the area.

5:03 p.m.: Rafferty withdraws $80 from ATM at Petro Canada in Guelph near Home Depot; one minute later, a car suspected to be Rafferty's drops off McClintic at Home Depot, where she purchases a hammer and garbage bags.

April 9, 2009: Police in Woodstock release grainy security video showing Tori walking away from school with a woman in a white puffy coat at 3:32 p.m. on April 8.

April 10, 2009: From 1:53 p.m. to 11:18 p.m., Rafferty and McClintic's phones exchange 44 text messages and two phone calls.

April 12, 2009: McClintic is arrested on an outstanding warrant and interviewed by police about Tori. She says she knows nothing and is sent to Genest Detention Centre in London, Ont.

April 12, 2009: More than 1,000 people show up at a candlelight vigil for Tori in Woodstock.

April 13, 2009: Woodstock police call off the ground search for Tori.

April 17, 2009: Ontario Provincial Police take the lead in the investigation. Ground search resumes. Police upgrade Tori's disappearance from a missing person case to an abduction investigation.

April 19-May 15, 2009: About 30 calls are exchanged between Rafferty's BlackBerry and Genest Detention Centre.

April 21, 2009: Composite sketch of the woman in the white coat is released to the media.

May 8 and 12, 2009: Rafferty visits McClintic at Genest.

May 15, 2009: Rafferty is interviewed by police about his association to McClintic. His BlackBerry calls Genest for the last time at 7:41 p.m.

May 19, 2009: McClintic is interviewed by police, first claiming to know nothing about the case but eventually confessing. She is charged with kidnapping and being an accessory to murder. At 7:55 p.m., Rafferty is arrested and charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder.

May 20, 2009: McClintic draws a rough sketch of the area where Tori was killed, which will eventually lead police to discover the girl's remains.

May 24, 2009: McClintic gives a full confession, with extensive details about April 8. She says Rafferty raped Tori, then killed her using a hammer.

June 7, 2009: Tori has still not been found, but her family holds a public memorial service.

July 19, 2009: Acting on information from Rafferty's cellphone records, a police officer drives around the Mount Forest area and recognizes an area from McClintic's sketch. He later stumbles upon Tori's decomposing remains in a secluded field.

April 30, 2010: McClintic pleads guilty to first-degree murder, but a strict publication ban means the media can only report that McClintic "was scheduled to appear" in court.

June 2, 2010: Rafferty is committed to trial, a charge of sexual assault causing bodily harm is added.

Dec. 9, 2010: The Supreme Court of Canada denies leave to appeal in the publication ban matter, paving the way for the media to disclose that McClintic pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Jan. 14, 2012: McClintic changes her story and tells police she is the one who killed Tori.

Jan. 16, 2012: Pre-trial motions start in Rafferty's case in London, Ont., and are heard over the next several weeks.

March 5, 2012: Rafferty's trial begins; the Crown tells the nine-woman, three-man jury that Tori died a violent death, but that it's not necessary for them to determine who wielded the hammer and dealt the fatal blows — just if Rafferty and McClintic acted together to bring about Tori's death.

March 13-23, 2012: McClintic testifies over six days, saying Rafferty urged her to kidnap a girl and that she killed Tori after Rafferty sexually assaulted the girl.

April 2, 2012: Jury visits the scene near Mount Forest where Tori's remains were found.

May 1, 2012: Defence lawyer Dirk Derstine opens and closes his case without having Rafferty testify.

May, 10, 2012: Jury begins to deliberate.

May, 11, 2012: Guilty verdicts handed down on all counts.

Organizations: Home Depot, Oliver Stephens school, Genest Detention Centre Petro Canada The Supreme Court of Canada

Geographic location: Woodstock, LONDON, London, Ont. Guelph Mount Forest

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page