Monday, August 03, 2015

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

Posted by Chimera on 08/03/15 at 05:00 PM in The judical timelineThe legal followups


Chimera, amazing parallel.  Look at Bagshawe’s staring eyes, a sure sociopath.

Posted by Slow Jane on 08/03/15 at 10:48 PM | #

“Knox was jealous that Meredith got a boy (Giacomo), whom she found attractive”

I am not so sure.

Knox is, I believe, is devoid of normal passions we all have - she uses sex as a tool to get some pleasure (or drugs). Her former boyfriends have been remarkably silent but some comments by Sollecito point in the right direction.

Something is missing in her brain. She has convoluted feelings to others. If you see her comments on or about Meredith, you can perhaps see a picture. Do you really believe that she knows what love it?

But the parallel with Todorovic is remarkable. You can say that “it started as a joke” but really it started as a warning. Unfortunately nobody heeded.

Posted by chami on 08/04/15 at 05:46 AM | #

Sharp eyes again Chimera

As you know only 1/10 of all murders are by women but about 1/2 of all media interest is in them. Knox is really very mainstream.

Here’s todays case in the headlines. Cheyanne Jessie’s murdered little girl was also called Meredith. Her mother used a knife or a gun on her. Her father’s family have no problem seeing her get the death penalty.

A Florida woman called police Saturday morning to report her father and 6-year-old daughter missing. The next day, she was charged with their murder.

Cheyanne Jessie, 25, is accused of killing her little girl, Meredith Jessie, and 50-year-old dad, Mark Weekly, before allegedly hiding their bodies in bags—a maneuver cops say she learned from the TV show Criminal Minds—and stuffing them in a shed.

Even more disturbing is the alleged motive: Jessie, a cashier at a big-box store, didn’t want little Meredith interfering with a new relationship.

“Nothing’s more horrific than the murder of a child, except when it’s done by a parent, and that’s what we saw,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who on Sunday announced first-degree murder charges against the single mom.

The sheriff was visibly shaken Sunday as he held up Jessie’s expressionless mugshot for Tampa-area TV cameras.

“This is the face and this is the eyes of a cold-blooded murderer,” Judd announced, adding that Jessie “not only murdered them… but left them in the residence for many days until it became painfully evident she had to move them.”

Police say they caught onto Jessie after she called them 11 a.m. Saturday—two weeks after her child and father went missing. The mother had been pressured into contacting authorities by other concerned family members, Judd said.

When cops met Jessie at Weekly’s home, Jessie allegedly told them Weekly was dying of terminal cancer and headed to Georgia with his granddaughter to live out the time he had left.

But the young mother’s story changed throughout the day, cops say, and they quickly eyed her as a suspect. Detectives smelled a foul odor, which she attributed to rotten meat and a dead raccoon she had found underneath the porch. But officers didn’t see any signs of the dead animal or expired food.

Authorities say Jessie killed the child and her grandfather on July 18 and transported their bodies to a shed four days later. The shed, about 200 yards down the road, was owned by Weekly’s landlord.

The mom initially told cops she dropped Meredith off at Weekly’s house in Lakeland on July 18. She said she returned July 19 and had an argument with Weekly over her problems with the child.

Jessie later told police she attacked her father in self-defense. She claimed he tried to stab her but that she fended him off with martial-arts training she learned from her boyfriend’s father. (Police say the man had no knowledge of martial arts.)

“She supposedly gets the knife away from her father after [he’s] fighting and slashing at her… and accidentally stabs the 6-year-old,” Judd said of Jessie’s version of events. “None of the evidence supports any of this.”

The sheriff said Jessie used a knife and a gun to kill the victims and a shovel to move their bodies from Weekly’s home to a Chevy Suburban. It’s unclear how each victim died or who died first. Autopsies hadn’t yet been completed Sunday.

After obtaining a search warrant, cops found a couch with slash marks inside Weekly’s home, as well as blood-soaked furniture. A rug covered a bloodstained floor.

Police also learned Jessie used Weekly’s phone to send messages to her boyfriend. She pretended to be Weekly and texted that he had only a year to live and planned to spend it with Meredith. The texts gave Jessie and her beau permission to take Weekly’s house and belongings.

Judd said the boyfriend wasn’t being eyed as a suspect Sunday. The man allegedly told police Jessie recently asked him how long it would take for a body to decompose. At the time, he didn’t think much of it, the sheriff said.

“Does she think she’s going to lose this boyfriend, which she desperately wanted, because of her daughter?” Judd said. “For whatever reason, not only does she take her daughter to her father but ultimately murders both of them.”

“She was frustrated with the child. As a result, she didn’t want the child to mess up the relationship she had with her boyfriend.”

Polk County deputies said Jessie showed no emotion when they interviewed her. She continued to work as a cashier in the days following the alleged murder.

Judd said Jessie had been arrested once before in another state for allegedly assaulting a boyfriend with a knife.

“She didn’t like her daughter,” the sheriff said. “She was frustrated with the child. As a result, she didn’t want the child to mess up the relationship she had with her boyfriend.”

Several family members declined to comment to The Daily Beast. The day before Weekly and Meredith were found dead, they pleaded on social media for help with the missing persons case. Any hope they had turned into grief overnight.

“Everyone, PLEASE remember my family in your prayers tonight as we are faced with the loss of my uncle Mark and 6 year old, cousin Meredith,” one relative wrote on Facebook. “I never thought anything like this could happen to people I know, but definitely never thought it could happen within my family.”

Former teachers and day-care workers also took to social media to mourn Meredith, who wore a pink dress and pixie haircut in a photo circulated by police.

April Gonzalez, who watched Meredith at day-care two years ago, told The Daily Beast she was devastated when she heard the news. She called the girl her “favorite.”

“She was a little tomboy,” Gonzalez said. “She would dress like a girl, but she was a tough girl.”

One of Jessie’s friends, contradicting the sheriff’s claim, told The Daily Beast that the mom “was a very sweet, caring person who loved her father and daughter very much.”

“I am stunned by her arrest,” said the friend, who asked to remain anonymous. “I would never have thought she was capable of this.”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/04/15 at 05:14 PM | #

Will Lisa Marie Basile and Nina Burleigh now want to come to that woman’s defense?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/04/15 at 07:35 PM | #

Slow Jane - yes, Bagshaw does look sociopathic in his photos.  I seriously question how much remorse he actually felt, given that he had a romp with his current girlfriend just after stabbing to death an old one (think Jodi Arias).  Maybe his lawyer just told him to say he was sorry.

Also, the shock and horror he supposedly had didn’t stop him from trying to kill someone else just 3 years later.

Chami - agreed, Knox probably doesn’t feel ‘‘love’’ or much anything else, like most people.  But she doesn’t have to feel it to be jealous that someone else got a guy she wanted.

Posted by Chimera on 08/04/15 at 10:35 PM | #

Every time I see Knox in an interview or other video situation, the anger just beneath the surface is chilling.

The inappropriate laughter, the forced swallowing when she’s trying to calm herself before trotting out some rehearsed line, the inability to shed tears when she’s pretending to be upset, the dispassionate way she refers to Meredith, the barely concealed contempt she clearly feels for Meredith who is, after all, the cause of all her pain and angst, all of it just screams guilty.

That’s before we even look at the mountain of evidence that condemns her and her inadequate little squirt of an ex boyfriend. The people who cannot see these things are Emperor’s new clothes adherents of the very worst kind. This case was every bit as clear as OJ’s, every bit, only buffoons think otherwise.

Posted by davidmulhern on 08/05/15 at 02:14 AM | #

Yes Knox’s unresolved emotion/anger is chilling. The interviews are shocking.

There doesn’t even have to be an event to cause envy. One can be jealous of something, but envy - deep in the psyche, probably initiated in a pattern very early on - just is.

Seething and utterly destructive if not faced up to and dealt with, - or at least applied restraint to.

Such disturbed persons need to keep well away from drugs and drink.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 08/05/15 at 03:56 AM | #

Those who KNOW Knox all seem to admit tacitly that they see these signs. All tend to handle her with kid gloves or keep some distance away. These “marriage” stories come and go.

Curt may have put her where she is, but doesnt want to know. Chris Mellas wasnt good news, he teased her brutally. Edda was the focus of Curts volcanic anger for years; exactly why? Was Knox as Dr Hodges says an unwanted result?

Capanne really was her last best hope. Ironic Marasca and Bruno thought they were doing her and RS a favor.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/05/15 at 02:53 PM | #

There is one aspect of Knox that I foresee will not happen. That is pregnancy to full term because she is incapable of recognizing anyone else as being really human and a baby would simply be in the way.

As to marriage that is a joke because she dare not let anyone get close to her since they will see through her pathetic little game.

She believes that people are just others in a long line of things she considers an audience. To Knox they are put there to tell her she is wonderful when she knows full well that she is just a useless superfluous drain upon humanity.

Take her latest foray into photography. Walking around taking snap shots of anything she can put on her web is just another waste of time. She does this so she can tell her audience just how brilliant she is because she knows she isn’t.

Amanda Knox will never be anything or anybody. For her it is too late and her life to all intents and purposes is over since she is just a empty shell searching desperately for someone to believe her. The final straw will be when her Grandmother Elizabeth Huff dies.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/05/15 at 04:09 PM | #

Knox is stuck with Sollecito and Rudy Guede for the rest of her life as crime buddies. They’re all three joined at the hip forever. Each fears Guede will one day start talking, selling details to anyone who’ll pay.

She’s terrified that Sollecito might have a meltdown of remorse one distant day and share with the world what really occurred to clear his conscience. Padre Pio might give him the courage. Some tug on his heart, even from England. Or despite efforts to keep the lid on the trio’s deadly secret, Raf might unintentionally let some detail slip to a girlfriend, lover, or eventual wife. That woman might tell someone in authority, or write a book, or attempt to blackmail Knox from a distance or blackmail Sollecito in a divorce. Likewise Raf must be terrified of Knox having another madhouse meltdown and revealing all, he has seen her extremism firsthand.

As the old movie “Double Indemnity” an old film noir says about conspirators in crime, they’re stuck with each other forever like people getting on a streetcar or trolley, to the end of the line. Neither partner can get off the trolley car without the other. Their lives are no longer separate. They’re stuck in each other’s minds and souls until the day they die. Guilty knowledge has fused their three lives together forever. They dream about each other, they fear each other, they loathe each other. They’d like to avenge themselves on the ringleader but mutual protection prevents that. They can never “forget” each other and move on. At any moment under any provocation and many unforeseen influences years from now, any one of the accomplices could reveal facts about Meredith’s murder and shake the others’ world.

The three defendants are stuck with each other “to the end of the line”.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/07/15 at 01:42 AM | #

Well put indeed Hopeful.

Knox’s big problem is that she neither has the intelligence nor superficial charm of a Ted Bundy or any other reasonably bright psychopath hence her complete inability to convince anyone other than lonely sycophants lacking something meaningful in their lives of her innocence.

Moreover, she clearly lacks the excellent memory and thinking on your feet skills that any good liar requires to have as a minimum. Thus all we get from Knox are shifting, utterly implausible and inconsistent stories. Childlike in their construction and delivery (the bathmat shuffle and Meredith always locking her door being just two of many) and unconvincing from whichever angle you look at them from. When she’s exposed by her own lies, her inner child stamps its feet and asks us to believe changing details are mere memory lapses (or false memory implants) due to pressures outwith her control i.e. police or the effects of cannabis.

I do feel she is not suited to keeping this type of secret at all (few would be) and the truth will eventually out. I’ve often thought she’s also reached a stage now where she revels in the fact that she’s got away with it but she’s hobbled by the fact that she can’t tell anyone so ultimately it’s a pyrrhic victory for her. If she was to tell anyone in future, I reckon it would be her strange little friend Madison. I think Mad Pax would keep her secret too, such is the degree of hero worship going on there.

What would be great would be for a proper journalist to interview her and really pin her down on the enormous list of lies and inconsistencies that she’s foisted on us. I could definitely see a conniption happening like when she was shown the knife drawer. There is zero chance of such an interview but maybe we’ll get an OJ style “If I Did It” book someday.

It’s comforting to know that she knows that she’s only one Sollecito meltdown away from being found out. I can’t see Geude saying much more than he already has as he is anxious to minimise his own part in proceedings which were likely restraining Meredith and then some perversion when she was already dying. They are all three as utterly worthless as each other.

Meantime, what on earth can be happening with that pesky motivation report….....

Posted by davidmulhern on 08/07/15 at 02:43 AM | #

“Knox is stuck with Sollecito and Rudy Guede for the rest of her life as crime buddies”

-so sad but so true. She will be spending her life in a virtual prison. Most will guess the truth once they interact with her but that is only the beginning. With so many eyes focused on her, she cannot afford another outburst. She has finally met the enemy and it is her. And she just cannot run away!

If she can fight this enemy first, she need to worry about Guede and Sollecito. Slaves or not, she will have a tough time to fight the outside enemies too. Fight lies with lies. It may work, who knows?

Posted by chami on 08/07/15 at 10:58 AM | #

Knox is unable to control herself let alone Guede and Sollecito and truth will eventually out.  For the sake of Merediths family I like to believe that Knox and Sollecito will be returned to life behind bars but even if justice is not served in that way their lives will be paltry, meaningless and in every way unhappy.

Posted by MHILL4 on 08/07/15 at 12:24 PM | #

I agree with you

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 08/07/15 at 04:09 PM | #
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