Tori Stafford's family angry after child killer sent to Saskatchewan healing lodge

The family of Tori Stafford is angry after they received official notice that child killer Terri-Lynne McClintic has been transferred from a maximum security prison in Ontario to a minimum security aboriginal healing lodge in southern Saskatchewan.

Terri-Lynne McClintic is currently serving a life sentence for the 2009 killing of Tori Stafford

'I was very upset,' says father of murdered Ontario school girl, Rodney Stafford

5 years ago
Duration 1:08
'I was very upset,' says father of murdered Ontario school girl, Rodney Stafford

The family of murdered Ontario schoolgirl Tori Stafford says they're angry after receiving official notice from Corrections Canada that one of the girl's killers has been transferred to a minimum security aboriginal healing lodge in Saskatchewan.

Terri-Lynne McClintic, 28, pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder in the death of Stafford, the eight year old whose disappearance captured the attention of the country for months as police scoured the countryside in what was then the largest-ever search for a missing person in Canada. 

Corrections Canada would not confirm McClintic's current whereabouts citing privacy reasons, but a spokeswoman said McClintic is serving "an indeterminate life sentence" for first-degree murder and won't be eligible for parole until May 19, 2031. 

Tori Stafford was eight years-old when she disappeared in 2009. Her body was later found in a clandestine grave in a farmer's field about 100 kilometres north of Woodstock, Ont.

McClintic lured the young girl

When Tori vanished while walking home from school in Woodstock, Ont. on April 8, 2009, it was McClintic who lured her into the waiting car of Michael Rafferty.

Rafferty, McClintic's then-boyfriend, is also serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the little girl's death. The pair drove the girl first to Guelph and later Mount Forest, 100 kilometres north of Woodstock, where Rafferty sexually assaulted and murdered the girl before the pair buried her body in a clandestine grave in a farmer's field. 

"I was very upset because the magnitude of this crime, somebody like that should not be warranted a free pass," Tori's father Rodney Stafford told CBC News Tuesday. 

"She's there for a conviction. She should be in a maximum security prison serving a life sentence," he said.  "She shouldn't get any privileges. If she needs a doctor or a dentist then bring them into the facility."

Stafford said he plans to travel to Ottawa in November in the hopes of bringing attention to the case. 

Terri-Lynne McClintic and Michael Rafferty have both been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Victoria Stafford. (Canadian Press)

Stafford said his mother Doreen Graichen received official notice from the federal government that McClintic has been transferred, from the Grand Valley Institution for Women, a maximum security facility in Kitchener, Ont., to the Okima Ohci Healing Lodge for Aboriginal Women on Nekaneet First Nation in southern Saskatchewan. 

Created in 1995 and located 400 kilometres from the nearest Corrections Canada facility, the Okima Ohci Healing Lodge is unique in the prison system, according to the federal government's website. 

The facility was, according Corrections Canada, "built with the intention of housing incarcerated Aboriginal women. The focus on 'Healing' was to be the priority for Aboriginal women offenders."

"The practices, culture and values of the Nekaneet is taught to the residents," the website said, noting that prisoners are taught, "empowerment, meaningful and responsible choices, respect and dignity, supportive environment and shared responsibility."

Rodney Stafford, seen here in his Woodstock, Ont. home, said he's angry schoolgirl killer Terri-Lynne McClintic has been allowed to go to a facility in Saskatchewan that provides spiritual healing to female prisoners. (Colin Butler/CBC)

While Indigenous women get priority at the open-concept facility, "non-Aboriginal offenders can also live at a healing lodge. However, they must choose to follow Aboriginal programming and spirituality. In all cases, we thoroughly assess an offender's risk to public safety before a decision is made to move him or her to a healing lodge," Corrections Canada spokeswoman Esther Mailhot said Monday in an email to CBC News. 

Child killer told court about difficult upbringing

McClintic spent days under the glare of the national media spotlight when she testified at her former boyfriend's murder trial. During those proceedings, the court heard about her troubled childhood, one where she was abandoned by her birth mother, who gave her to a fellow stripper named Carol McClintic.

They moved every couple of years and McClintic went to many different schools, where she was bullied for being a stripper's daughter and her attendance was a problem.

The court heard how McClintic began taking illegal drugs when she was only eight years old, often wrote out violent fantasies in letters and journals and once microwaved her dog. 

McClintic was convicted in 2012 for beating up another inmate in prison and reportedly said she regretted the incident, but only for not causing the woman worse injuries. 


Colin Butler


Colin Butler covers the environment, real estate, justice as well as urban and rural affairs for CBC News in London, Ont. He is a veteran journalist with 20 years' experience in print, radio and television in seven Canadian cities. You can email him at