Rape victim played dead in 'horror movie' attack
The victim of a rape and savage knife attack described how she lay motionless on her blood-soaked mattress, her head, face and hands slashed with a butcher knife, playing dead in the hopes her attacker would finally leave.
In chilling testimony, the woman, who was 33 at the time of the February 2004 assault, told an Edmonton court Friday how she couldn't believe she was being attacked in her own bedroom.
Ryan James Huppie, 23, is on trial for attempted murder and four other charges related to the two-hour attack on the woman, who lived next door to him in a downtown Edmonton condominium building.
Huppie is not disputing he committed the crime but pleaded not guilty because he was suffering from a mental disorder and wasn't criminally responsible.
The woman, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, spoke uninterrupted for 45 minutes Friday after the Crown asked her to describe what happened.
Woman awoke to find attacker at foot of her bed
With scars on her face, neck and hands, the woman was composed and confident as she began speaking, but she sobbed repeatedly during her testimony.
In the hours before the attack, she told the trial, there was loud music coming from Huppie's apartment until almost 4:30 a.m. The woman drifted off and then awoke to find someone at the foot of her bed with a meat cleaver and a long knife.
"I'm here to rape you, and I'm here to kill you," she recalled the man saying.
The woman, who had worked with troubled youth, tried to dissuade him by telling him she had a sexually transmitted disease and tried to build a bond by talking to him and getting him to see her as a person, she said.
While she talked, she was trying to get him closer to a window so she could see him better.
"I wanted to look him in the eye and see who this guy was," she told the court.
Victim testifies she played dead twice
But her tactics failed, and the attacker eventually forced himself upon her and raped her. He pounded her skull with something blunt until she pretended to be dead.
He left and she called 911 only to have him return and slash at her again. She said she bent her head down to protect her throat.
She played dead again, she said in her testimony.
"I just lay there with my eyes wide open, and I stared at him, and he stared right back."
He finally left, and she called 911 again, barely holding the phone, with the white bones of her pinky finger exposed like a split "chicken wing." The desperate plea for help was entered into evidence on Thursday.
A shirt she was wearing that night, also entered into evidence, had 43 gashes in it. Police photos show long, bloody gashes across her neck and face.
The woman compared the ordeal to "something out of a horror movie. … It's like trying to get through that locked door before he gets to you."
She told the court she was a school vice-principal, athletic and social, with "the world by the tail," before the assault. She now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has nightmares.
In one of her final remarks, she said: "People say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. But it's amazing how weak you feel when somebody is really trying to kill you."
With files from the Canadian Press