Tori Stafford killer Terri-Lynne McClintic sent to healing lodge, Tori's family says

The enraged father of a murdered Woodstock girl and his supporters are planning a rally on Parliament Hill to protest the transfer of killer Terri-Lynne McClintic from prison to an aboriginal healing lodge.

The enraged father of a murdered Woodstock girl and his supporters are planning a rally on Parliament Hill to protest the transfer of killer Terri-Lynne McClintic from prison to an aboriginal healing lodge.

McClintic, convicted of first-degree murder in the 2009 kidnapping, rape and killing of eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford, is living at Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Saskatchewan, relatives of the girl say.

The lodge offers more independent living and nicer quarters— including family units where children can live with offenders— than a prison, as well as spiritual and cultural training.

“She’s in an aboriginal healing lodge in Saskatchewan living it up in minimum medium security. Open concept living . . . ,” the girl’s father, Rodney Stafford, said in a series of Facebook messages with The London Free Press.“How do people such as TM (Terri-Lynn McClintic) get more rights and privileges and lessened security? From maximum security to a healing lodge?”

One of Tori’s grandmothers, Doreen Graichen, confirmed that Correctional Service Canada notified family of the move to the lodge.

“We were all upset by this move. Seems to be an easier path for her,” Graichen said.

Correctional Service Canada would not disclose McClintic’s location, citing the federal Privacy Act.

“Okimaw Ohci contains both single and family residential units, as offenders may have their children stay with them. Each unit has a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchenette with an eating area and a living room,” Correctional Service Canada’s website says about the healing lodge.

“The focal point is the spiritual lodge where teachings, ceremonies and workshops with elders take place. A personal life plan is created for each Aboriginal offender outlining what she needs emotionally, physically and spiritually to help with her rehabilitation.

“Programs help offenders build the strength they need to make essential changes in their lives. Programs address vocational training, family and children, Aboriginal language and nature. The women learn how to live independently by cooking, doing laundry, cleaning and doing outdoor maintenance chores.”

McClintic pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder, although the full evidence of her violent character surfaced only later during the murder trial of co-killer Michael Rafferty in 2011.

At that trial, the jury considering Rafferty’s fate heard evidence about McClintic’s violent fantasies and desire to kill, maim and torture others.

In 2012, she pleaded guilty to assaulting another inmate at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener.

In a letter she wrote to a friend and intercepted by correctional officers, McClintic described stomping, punching and kicking an inmate she had asked to meet for a peer-to-peer mentoring session, noting that if she’d had more space, she would have done more damage.

Some of Tori’s relatives received word several months ago about the transfer from Grand Valley.

But the notice didn’t reach Rodney Stafford until recently because of a change in his contact information, he said.

The notice said McClintic was being transferred from Grand Valley to the healing lodge, Stafford said.

His frustration prompted a call on Facebook Monday for a protest Nov. 2 in Ottawa, and an outpouring of anger on social media. Shock, disgust, disgrace— the words flooded hundreds of comments in reaction to the news of the transfer.

“We will be renting buses which will leave from Tillsonburg and Woodstock, Ontario, and going to the Parliament to peacefully protest the reduced security levels being given to the worst of the worst, including one of Tori Stafford’s killers, Terri-Lynne McClintic,” the Facebook page states.

A video made for the protest had already received 29,000 views in less than 24 hours.

“It just really made me feel sick. If anybody is going to have cement walls and no privileges, it should be (McClintic),” protest organizer Cara Adeline Voisin told The Free Press.

Parents like Stafford feel helpless in the face of the justice system, she said.

“This is something we can do. Our justice system can do better.”

The protesters are renewing calls for legislation restricting rights of people convicting of killing children.

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government had proposed the Life Means Life Act, which would have amended the Criminal Code to ensure the worst killers receive a mandatory life sentence without parole, rather than parole eligibility after 25 years.

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