Melissa Todorovic Perpetrates A Grisly Jealousy-Driven Murder With Many Other Similarities
Posted by Chimera
The victim Stefanie Rengel, ambushed and killed with a knife; here her mother speaks out
1. The Jealousy Crime
Jealousy sparks a lot of crimes. This is from Toronto Life
It started as a joke. Melissa Todorovic and David Bagshaw fantasized about how they wanted to hurt and humiliate David’s ex-girlfriend. They talked about it for months and months, until the fantasy became a plan, and Melissa gave David an ultimatum: no more sex until Stefanie was dead. How two high school students became killers
On New Year’s in 2008, 14 year old Stefanie Rengel was ambushed, stabbed 6 times, and left to die in a snowbank. She was still alive when a passer-by found her, but did not survive the night.
Her killer was David Bagshaw, 17, and in fact just 4 days shy of this 18th birthday. It turns out that he had been pressured by his girlfriend, Melissa Todorovic, 15 at the time, to do this, or to be deprived of sex from her. After letting Todorovic know that the ‘‘deed had been done’‘, she called Stefanie’s number 3 times to confirm. When no one answered, she took it as proof this had been done.
Between Bagshaw and Todorovic, there were hundreds of emails and text messages on this topic, so once police suspicion fell on them and these records were pulled, it left no doubt in anyone’s mind as to what had happened. Other evidence was gathered of course, but these messages were smoking guns by themselves.
Police believe that the topic had initially come up as a prank, and that on some level they fantasized violence against Stefanie.
2. A Very Disturbing Case
(1) Bagshaw and Stefanie had supposedly dated before (a non-sexual relationship), and it was chilling to see how viciously he could slaughter a young woman he once had feelings for.
(2) Todorovic considered Stefanie to be a rival (she had once ‘‘dated’’ her current boyfriend), but the two had never actually met.
(3) The brief, but completely savage nature of the ambush and killing.
(4) Bagshaw claimed his ‘‘prize’’ after Stefanie was dead—namely a romp with Todorovic. Whatever ‘‘remorse’’ he may have felt with this act, he was still in the mood for sex.
(5) Bagshaw, in one of the messages, complained that he was approaching 18 years of age, and that he would be tried as an adult. This shows that he understood in advance what the likely consequences were.
(6) Even though the messages went back and forth for months, apparently neither Bagshaw nor Todorovic ever stepped back to reflect on what they were setting in motion.
3.The Trial Outcome
At Bagshaw’s trial, his lawyer understood that he really had no defence to the murder charge. He plead guilty to first degree murder, hoping to get a youth sentence from the judge. Remember, he was a few days shy of 18.
It didn’t work, and the judge gave him an adult sentence of life, with a minimum of 10 years in custody. Prosecutors argued that he ‘‘bought himself 15 years right there’‘, as he would have received a 25 year minimum had he actually been 18. Bagshaw has confessed, and apologised to the family for doing this.
At Todorovic’s trial, her lawyer tried to claim that she never intended for Bagshaw to actually go ahead with it. That argument failed as well, and as a 15 year old, Todorovic received a life sentence with a minimum of 7 years to be spent in custody.
4. More Background On The Case
Note: Initially, both Bagshaw and Todorvic had their identities withheld from publication, as both were considered ‘‘young offenders’‘. The media had merely referred to them as D.B. and M.T. However, since adult sentences have been imposed, that restriction has been lifted.
5. Comparisons Of Those Involved
- Bagshaw was 17, Todorovic 15, Stefanie 14
- Sollecito was 23, Knox 20, Guede 20, Meredith 21
- Bagshaw’s lawyers (in pleading for a youth sentence), argued that he was Todorovic’s ‘‘slave’‘
- Sollecito has been widely portrayed as Knox’s ‘‘slave’’ in the media.
- Todorovic was jealous of a girl who had once dated her boyfriend
- Knox was jealous that Meredith got a boy (Giacomo), whom she found attractive
- Todorovic killed someone she had never met before
- Knox killed a roommate that she ‘‘only knew for a month’‘.
- Bagshaw plead guilty to 1st degree murder hoping to get a youth sentence.
- Guede took the ‘‘fast-track’’ trial, to get 1/3 off, or at least avoid a possible life sentence.
- Todorovic’s lawyer claimed Bagshaw did it all on his own.
- Knox and Sollecito’s lawyers claim Guede was the ‘‘lone wolf’‘.
- Cellphone texts and emails were used to nail Bagshaw and Todorovic
- Lack of cellphone activity or computer activity (for Sollecito), raised red flags about the alibis of AK and RS.
- Bagshaw claimed that Todorvic set it all in motion.
- Guede and Sollecito have both claimed that the problems were largely caused by Knox.
- Bagshaw, while pleading guilty, expressed remorse for the murder
- Guede, while denying the murder, has expressed remorse.
- Bagshaw and Todorovic had a sexual encounter as a ‘‘reward’‘, after Stefanie’s murder
- Knox and Sollecito were still having sex after Meredith’s murder, and Knox was still trading sex-for-drugs with Federico Martini.
- Todorvic has never expressed any real remorse for setting Stefanie’s murder in action
- Knox, while claiming Meredith was ‘‘her friend’‘, made comments such as ‘‘shit happens’‘, and ‘‘I want to get on with my life.’‘
- Todorovic and Bagshaw were found guilty (Bagshaw plead), and both lost their appeals at the Appeals Court in Toronto
- Knox and Sollecito were found guilty at trial, but by judge shopping have had success in their appeals.
- Guede was found guilty in the fast tract trial, and despite a sentence reduction, (getting 1/3 less than AK and RS), the conviction was upheld.
6. What Happened Next
Todorovic appealed her conviction to the Ontario Court of Appeals, and it was rejected.
Todorovic lost a bid to remain in youth custody for a year longer than she was to be transferred.
Bagshaw appealed his sentence (he had plead guilty) to the O.C.A., claiming it was wrong to impose an adult sentence on such an emotionally immature person. It was rejected.
Bagshaw, while in custody, was charged with attempted murder, for helping to try to kill an inmate. His excuse: he was pressured to do so, the same line he used in his murder trial
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