LONDON, Ont. — For days, she has sat in the witness box, meek and mild and full of remorse as she described herself as the unwilling puppet in Michael Rafferty’s plan to abduct and rape Tori Stafford.
On the police videotape, she wept uncontrollably at the horror that befell that little girl and said she was so sickened that she had to look away.
But as soon as defence lawyer Dirk Derstine rose to begin his scathing cross-examination, he unveiled a very different Terri-Lynne McClintic.
This McClintic — as evidenced by almost 30 obscenity-laced letters she’d written while in detention a year before Tori’s slaying — calls herself a "Vampire in Heat" hungry to kill. Adopting the tags and slogans of the Crips, the gangsta tough girl rhymes about murder and mayhem and vows to spill blood when she is finally released after serving 14 months for robbery and assault. "I just wanna bounce, get out, go on a f–kin’ killin’ spree," she said.
Among her planned targets was her own mother as well as innocent family members of people she believed had wronged her or her friends.
And as Derstine pointed out, these violent and gory kill fantasies came long before she met Rafferty, the former boyfriend now on trial for being her partner in the abduction and bludgeoning death of the eight-year-old Woodstock, Ont., child.
"I’m (a) ruthless bitch," McClintic, then 17, wrote on March 15, 2008, 13 months before Tori’s murder. "The male staff say I’m krazy cuz i’m always talkin about f—in slaughterin someone, rippin out each bone, 1 by 1. F–k man I’m f—in fiend for blood."
McClintic, now 21, often signed her letters, "Murderouz Bitchez".
"Is that how you saw yourself?" Derstine asked.
"At that point in my life I was very angry," McClintic replied. "I’m not saying I’m not violent because I was but that was at a different point in my life."
"A different point?" countered the skeptical lawyer. "It was about a year before you met Tori. Not exactly ancient history."
In a letter written March 21, 2008, she describes her vampire lust for blood to a fellow inmate.
"I juz wanna be on the road n take the first person I see, grab em f—in bring em wit me n f—in mutilate the s— out of them, smash their skull apart, then piece it togetha like a puzzle. That way they stay conscious of the pain I’m inflictin on em," she wrote. "Then I cut off each ear n dig out the hole so I can see their brain swish around. With my bare hands I … shove the broken bones in their eye socket n their tongue still be hangin there so I burn it off with a blow torch n watch the charcoal drip to the ground."
On and on it went, as she described the horrific torture she would inflict, filling the girl with acid, lighting her on fire. And then she described a plan where she would disguise herself by dyeing her hair and changing the colour of her eyes to elude police.
"Just so it’s clear, this is a time when you certainly did not know Mr. Rafferty?" Derstine asked.
"Correct," she conceded.
In April 2010, McClintic pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and is currently serving a life sentence. She told police that she lured Tori away from her Woodstock school at Rafferty’s request and watched helplessly as he raped her repeatedly and then killed her with a hammer she had purchased on his orders.
But at this trial, she recanted that original statement — a videotape of which was played for the jury Wednesday — and insists now that she was the one who wielded the murder weapon. She said her own childhood traumas caused her to snap and she’d blocked out the truth because she couldn’t believe she was capable of killing someone.
Yet in her voluminous writings from the detention centre, murder seems to be all she can think about.
"I want to f—in break her mother f—in neck off her f—in shoulders," she wrote about a fellow offender. "Slice n dice bitch for real. I need to f–kin see some bitch bleed. F—in torch a mu’f—inn’ n strait up kill ’em slowly and f—in enjoy the whole thing. Beginnin to the motherf—in end. Ha Ha."
No one was off limits. A pregnant woman: "If that bitch gets too mouthy, preggo or not, she’s gonna get a couple shotz to the face." Her mother: "My mom’s strait up getting done in as soon as I can. The stupid bitch wantz to try n play hard ass when I’m locked up n she thinkz I can’t f—in hurt her in here well, she’s dumber than I thought."
"You’ve beaten up your mother in the past, right?" Derstine asked.
"I’ve assaulted her yes — twice," admitted McClintic, her tiny voice growing ever softer.
Derstine said he noticed a theme to her violent threats. "Not only will you do terrible things to people who make you angry," the lawyer charged, "but you will do terrible things to innocent persons attached to those people."
McClintic, back to being the meek mouse, quietly agreed. The cross-examination continues Thursday.