Look at her eyes, her little ears, her small lips, her baby cheeks, her smile…..Her innocence.
Yes, this precious little angel lived the unimaginable in her short eight years on earth. While most of her life was happy and joyous, the loss of innocence and ultimate fear devoured her final moments on this earth.
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Victoria Stafford. She was filled with love and light as she lived with her mother, Tara, and her brother, Darren. She loved butterflies, Hannah Montana, and the colour purple.
On April 8th, 2009, Tori was facing another milestone in life. She was going to walk home from school alone. She only made it a few steps before the unimaginable took place. A woman in a puffy white jacket decided her fate and lured her into a car with a man anxiously awaiting. They took her to the rolling fields of Mount Forest where the unimaginable took place. Acts that no one would wish on their worst enemy let alone an innocent 8 year-old child.
Almost immediately, Tori’s disappearance dominated the nightly news. My daughter and I attended the vigil in Woodstock and could feel the grief and fear from the public.
The next weekend, my daughter, who was fourteen at the time, went around our town of Cambridge hanging posters. Little did we know that on April 8th, the perpetrators cleaned up themselves and their car here.
Victoria Stafford’s disappearance, investigation and the trial of Michael Rafferty has been a long road. A long road that should have never been driven on.
Since 2009, thankfully there has been huge improvements to the Amber Alert system. There was a minuscule silver lining through this case.
Pedophilia is a mental disorder. As I watch Rafferty’s interrogation video this evening, I believe that when the detective made a reference to the acts of Paul Bernardo, Rafferty experienced his Ah-Ha Moment that he was riddled with this horrible disorder that, even then, he refused to acknowledge aloud. He was willing to go down fighting the obvious.
Look at this little girl. Her name is Victoria Stafford. She loved butterflies, Hannah Montana, and the colour purple. She deserved an innocent carefree life like any little girl her age. Unfortunately, her life was quickly halted by evil.
She will not experience puberty, childbirth, or wrinkles because of the mental disorder of one man and the heinous upbringing and evil mind of one woman. They did this together and they continued living their daily lives thereafter.
On May 11th, 2012, Michael Rafferty was found guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping, and the sexual assault of Victoria Stafford. Victoria lived a thousand lives in those moments before her death.
Let’s pray for the family, friends, and advocates that gave Victoria life while she was alive and well after her death. I know I’ve cried many tears tonight for them.