Canada

Rafferty cheery on Facebook the day Tori vanished

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details. The man accused of killing Victoria (Tori) Stafford posted on Facebook the day the eight-year-old Ontario girl disappeared, saying everything "good" was coming his way.

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details

Victoria (Tori) Stafford disappeared outside her school in Woodstock, Ont., on April 8, 2009. Her remains were found more than three months later. (Canadian Press)

The man accused of killing Victoria (Tori) Stafford posted on Facebook the day the eight-year-old Ontario girl disappeared, saying everything "good" was coming his way.

Michael Rafferty, 31, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping, wrote the entry at 10 a.m. on April 8, 2009, a couple of hours before Tori disappeared outside her elementary school in Woodstock, Ont.

Jurors at the trial in London, Ont., were shown a screen grab of the post that read: "Everything good is comming my way."  

Michael Rafferty, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)

Cassondra Harnum, who had known Rafferty for about six years at the time, testified seeing the entry as the two kept in touch through the internet. Harnum said he would sometimes spell his name as "Mychol."

Tori's remains were found in a rural area 100 kilometres north of her home more than three months after she vanished.

Terri-Lynne McClintic, 21, pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of the girl two years ago.

Rafferty spoke of friend 'Terri'

Earlier Wednesday, jurors heard from Jessica Meloche, another former girlfriend of Rafferty's, who met the 31-year-old in person on April 13, 2009, after getting in touch online.

They started dating a short time afterward, which continued until his arrest a month later.

Meloche was one of at least 13 women Rafferty was dating in the spring of 2009 — including seven he started dating after April 8.

Meloche testified that Rafferty often talked of a friend named "Terri," whose mother he was taking care of because she was in juvenile detention. According to Rafferty, the girl had been linked to Tori's disappearance, Meloche said.

Court has previously heard that police started investigating McClintic very soon after Tori went missing and she was arrested on an unrelated matter on April 12. Rafferty wasn't interviewed by investigators until May 15.

She said Rafferty felt he was being treated as "guilty by association" with McClintic, after being interviewed by police.

Meloche also testified that Rafferty was constantly on his BlackBerry checking his email and sending text messages. Court has previously heard that Tori's body was located in a field in Mount Forest after phone records indicated Rafferty's phone had been used in the area on the evening Tori disappeared.

Decoding Facebook

Provincial police online and internet expert Det. Const. Leslie Waldron testified regarding Rafferty’s Facebook page, which police had tracked through the CanCrime website after it had been taken down by Facebook after his arrest.

Rafferty’s rambling Facebook entries provide a glimpse into his personality in his own words.

"I am slowly becoming somebody, I’m complex and have lotsa layers," Rafferty wrote.

"Sadness in my life I think is my hardest task. I have bad days these days more then good I think, I dwell on the past and wish I could go back and change some things and do it all over again. Maybe just the last 5 years I think. I am sorry everyday and feel the pain of knowing that had I done something different, then life as I know it would be filled with joy everyday. I love animals now more then I have ever in my life, all because someone once showed me that pets and animals really do get the short end of the stick."

Among his activities, Rafferty wrote, "I love camping and value friends more then life it’s self. lol. If that means anything."

His favourite television shows were listed as Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, CSI, Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and Seinfeld.

Rafferty’s favourite reading, he wrote, included books by Anne Rice, The Secret, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

"I love God. I am big on family." Rafferty wrote.

"I think all and all I am a good person who means well. But life has given me some short straws and sadly I let the people down I care for the most and don’t really know who to fix it."

During Wednesday's testimony, Rafferty looked at times like he was reminiscing and he also made frequent notes, something he also did during McClintic's testimony.

The Crown alleges Tori was lured to Rafferty's vehicle by McClintic shortly after she left her elementary school in Woodstock. The pair then drove the girl first to Guelph and later to a rural area near Mount Forest where she was allegedly raped and killed.

Rafferty's trial continues in the southwestern Ontario city.

With files from CBC's Steven D'Souza and The Canadian Press

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