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Stefanie Rengel, a 14 year old from Toronto, Canada is well loved by her family.
Her mother, Patricia Hung is a police officer (Sergeant). Her stepfather, James
Hung, is with the Emergency Task Force. Her father, Adolfo Rengel, is a court
officer. Her stepmother is also a court officer. Both work for the Toronto Police
Service.Stefanie's brother, Ian (13), idolizes her.
Why would such a bubbly, cheerful girl become a murder victim of someone
who knew her, someone who'd been her friend? One of the oldest motives in
Photo: Stefanie Rengel
2005 - Summer - Young Stefanie Rengel (12) has a crush on a friend, Doug
Bagshaw (15). They are members of the same group of friends and
acquaintances. They see each other outside of their schools or at the park.
It's not a sexual relationship, more like puppy love. They hang out together
but do not "date."
It lasts a few weeks, until Bagshaw leaves a vulgar message on the family's
phone and her parents nix the relationship. Stefanie also finds out she hadn't
been Bagshaw's only "girlfriend." She knows a cousin of a girl named Melissa
Todorovic, and passes along a friendly message warning that Bagshaw isn't
the faithful type, that he was pursuing her at the same time he was with other
2007- March -
Doug Bagshaw (17) has a new girlfriend, Melissa Todorovic (15) who
learns about his other girlfriends and his fleeting friendship with Stefanie.
She becomes extremely jealous, even obsessed with Stefanie Rengel,
considering her a "rival" for Bagshaw's affections. Even though she's
never met Stefanie and really knows nothing about her, Melissa wants
Stefanie Rengel dead.
Photo: Melissa Todorovic
Patricia Hung (Stefanie's mother) "It was girl power, her telling Melissa
about Doug's advances. She was reassured by Melissa's cousin that it
was okay, so I think she just forgot about it.
JEALOUSY, OBSESSION & THE PUPPET MASTER
Melissa Todorovic enjoys using her power over Doug Bagshaw. She is
going to have Doug kill Stefanie Rengel, who she views as her "rival," and
begins a campaign to achieve her goal. When Doug Bagshaw balks, she
taunts & threatens to withold sexual favors, or to give herself to other boys.
Incessantly relentless, both in person and online, Melissa inundates
Bagshaw with her demands that he kill the other teen.
In thousands of MSN instant messages and Facebook postings, Melissa
& Doug go back and forth over her demands.
Melissa Todorovic brags to a friend "im getting someone killed lol"
She accuses Doug Bagshaw that he's been unfaithful to her "receiving
blowjobs from somebody else over a period of two weeks." Her proof?
"CUZ U HAD LIKE NO C-M."
Melissa recounts to Doug one of her dreams (or fantasies):
"We were all at ur dads ... and (K.) started giving u a bj and u were
moaning right infront of me, and I'm like (D.B.)! stop!! And ur like
noo so i got mad and I punched her and took a knife and cut off
her boobs, then made a slit down her whole body and then across
her throat and I threw her off the balcony."
CTV TORONTO - One of Stefanie Rengel's classmates later will tell
CTV Toronto "I heard Doug Bagshaw say he would stab the victim.
He shouted the remark during a cellphone conversation he was
having in the hallway of our school."
"TELL HER I TRIED TO STAB YOU"
2007 - October -20 -
Doug Bagshaw doesn't want to commit murder, but at the same time,
he wants to keep his girlfriend. He thinks up a ruse that he hopes will
get him out of this predicament.
Bagshaw goes to Stefanie Rengel's home. Throwing his cell phone on
the ground he tells her "when Melissa calls, tell her I tried to stab you
so she'll stop making her demands."
Stefanie informs her mother of the incident. Patricia Hung speaks to
Doug Bagshaw's mother who agrees her son should have no further
contact with Stefanie. Doug Bagshaw indicates to Patricia that he
really doesn't want to kill Stefanie, he just wants her to tell Melissa
that he tried so that she (Melissa) would stop bothering him about it.
Doug Bagshaw "If I really wanted to kill Stefanie, I would have
done it already."
Patricia Hung (Stefanie's mother) "I don't think Stefanie had any idea
Melissa Todorovic was jealous of her until Oct. 20. At the time, Stefanie
was more upset about having been accused of stealing Doug Bagshaw's
phone by his mother."
"I guess she had faith that nothing serious could ever happen to her
like that. Stefanie trusted everyone. She was a bit naive in that sense."
Photo: Patricia Hung & Stefanie Rengel
"I think Doug Bagshaw scared her ... but I think she trusted that I would
make it okay. If she was scared after that, she didn't tell me."
Patrica Hung warns Melissa Todorovic to stay away from Stefanie.
Patricia Hung "She was insolent, indignant, she was rude. I was taken
aback because I was an adult. I never expected to be spoken to like that."
The next day: In an online chat, Melissa again expresses her desire
to Bagshaw that she wants Stefanie dead.
2007 - NEW YEARS EVE - 10:00 P.M.
Melissa Todorovic tells Doug Bagshaw that she wants Stefanie
2008 - NEW YEAR'S DAY - January 1 -
Melissa Todorovic taunts and threatens Doug Bagshaw
that if he doesn't kill Stefanie, she'll have sex with another boy.
Tara Green (a classmate of Stefanie's) "We were supposed to hang
out with her on New Year’s but she wasn’t allowed out."
Stefanie Rengel receives a phone call. She leaves the house, planning
to be gone only a few moments outside the house, just down to the street
corner and right back.
Ian Rengel (Stefanie's brother) "I was at home with her when she got
a phone call from someone telling her to meet him. She wasn't exactly
sure who it was and she kept on repeating the name ... three times in a
kind of unsure voice. She was repeating the first name of her ex-boy
friend. The caller had a loud voice, and I could hear him telling
Stefanie, "Meet me." "She gets on boots or shoes ... and she tells me
that she's only going to be two seconds, and then she leaves.
I watched her from the window. That was the last time I saw her alive."
Stefanie meets Doug Bagshaw not far from her house.
Without further ado, Doug Bagshaw stabs Stefanie Rengel six times
and then flees. He discards the serrated knife in the snow in a nearby
backyard. He gets rid of his dark jacket in another backyard - it has
blood on it.
Photo: Doug Bagshaw Photo: Melissa Todorovic
OFF DUTY COP TRIES TO SAVE STEFANIE
6:12 P.M. Gavin Shoebottom (Policeman) is off duty when he sees
Stefanie in distress.
"I was driving home from my wife's dance studio in the early evening
when I saw a girl stumbling along northdale Blvd., near St. Clair Ave. E.
and O'Connor Dr. She looked like something was wrong. She had a
cell phone and seemed to be trying to call or text message someone.
I rolled down my window and I asked her if she was okay, and she
said, "No I need help." I said, "What happened?" and she said, "I've
"I got out of my car, called 911, and asked Stefanie which way her
attacker fled. She was trying to point in the direction, but it was
unclear. I asked her who stabbed her. She uttered a name similar
to Doug Bagshaw. I twas very unclear. I had to ask her to repeat it.
I ran to my car to get a blanket and wrapped it around her."
"She was just saying that it hurt so much, it hurt so much. I kept
telling her it would be okay and help was on the way."
Gavin Shoebottom tries desperately to find Stefanie's wounds, to
help her survive, and to comfort her.
Stefanie loses consciousness and dies in his arms.
6:22 P. M.
Because of confusion about the location, it takes 10 minutes for the
ambulance to arrive.
Desmond Fan (Paramedic) "She had no vital signs shortly after I and
my partner arrived."
A REWARD FOR MURDER
Doug Bagshaw reports back to Melissa Todorovic that he's committed
murder. Instead of taking his word, Melissa picks up her phone and dials
Stefanie's phone. When there's no answer she decides Stefanie really is
dead. In a macabre twist, Melissa insists Doug re-enact the murder.
Then she rewards him with sex. In one week she'll be 16.
Stefanie Rengel will forever remain 14 in photographs and memories.
Police find a knife in the snow in a nearby backyard. DNA from clumps of
fibres on the knife match Stefanie's clothing. A dark jacket is also found
and flakes of blood are matched with Stefanie.
Doug Bagshaw is interviewed and arrested.
Melissa Todorovic's mother is phone by police. She takes Melissa into
the police station where she is interviewed and then charged.
"I have seen her. But I have never talked to her."
“She spreaded rumours about me. She kept calling my boyfriend. And I was
getting really, like sick and tired of it. So then like joking, I was like, oh, I want
Melissa "Doug was always thinking about killing Ms. Rengel.
Detective Sansom “What makes you think he always thought about it?"
Melissa "Because I would complain about her. And saying she is ruining our
Det. Sansom "What was your reaction was after you learned that Ms. Rengel
Melissa "Sort of like happy that she is dead, but then bad."
Det. Sansom "Will Doug Bagshaw say he killed Ms. Rengel for you?"
Melissa Todorovic “Probably."
Melissa's Mother "Melissa, do you know what you are saying?"
Melissa “Yea, I told you three months ago I asked him to."
Det. Sansom "Okay so going back three months ago when you said to him
I want her dead, what did she do to cause you to make that comment whether
you’re serious, half serious or joking?
Melissa "She would call [my boyfriend] Doug and says she’s pregnant and
then on Victoria Day, that happened and I don’t know why she was going to
call him for that. Like, she had a boyfriend Steven at the time.
"She was spreading rumours about me a week ago or two weeks (Melissa
starts to cry). She said I was giving blowjobs to guys…."
Det. Sansom "Do you think that he would have gone and killed her on his own
without any of your dislike for her?
Melissa " I don’t know."
Det. Sansom "You don’t know? Did he ever talk about going and killing her even
before you had the idea that it would be nice to see her dead?
Melissa " No."
Det. Sansom "All right. Do you feel responsible for what happened?"
Melissa " Yes."
"She kept calling him and then he called her for advice but then she told me
that he wanted to do stuff with her and he made plans with her."
*Previously Melissa stated she'd never spoken to Stefanie.
Det. Ryan "At 10 o’clock yesterday morning you had a conversation with your
boyfriend and you told him."
Melissa " Yes, cause I had a bad dream the night before."
Det. Ryan "What was the dream about?"
Melissa "That they were fooling around. He knows I have dreams like that.
Det. Ryan "So you had a bad dream and you told D.B. at 10 o’clock that you
wanted Stefanie dead and then come six o’clock last night, boom, boom, boom,
she’s stabbed to death."
Melissa "I never said do this, do that. Here’s the knife."
Det. Ryan "You did say you wanted her dead and you did nothing to stop it and
you knew he was on his way over to her house with the knife.
Melissa "There is not much I can do."
Melissa's Mother "You should have called. For some, for the police at least.
For me. For anybody. Did you think of it?
Det. Ryan "I’ll suggest you didn’t think of that because at that time Doug
Bagshaw was doing what you wanted to do. That is why you didn’t call anybody.
Would you agree with that?"
Melissa "A little bit, but there was no point in calling cause if someone’s
stabbed, they are pretty much dead."
Det. Ryan There was a part of you that was relieved that finally…
Melissa "I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore."
Det. Ryan "Finally he has taken care of this. Yes?"
Det. Ryan "You said you wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore, deal with
Melissa "People telling me that he’s cheating on me with here and that she
spreads rumours about me. I never did anything to her. She doesn’t even
At a bail hearing Doug Bagshaw mouths the words "I love you" to Melissa
Todorovic. She ignores him as he tries to catch her eye.
Both Doug Bagshaw & Melissa Todorovic are denied bail.
Justice David McCombs "Melissa Todorovic used Doug Bagshaw as an
“instrument of her hatred, by manipulating him and persistently encouraging
him to carry out a planned and deliberate murder" of Stefanie. It is apparent
on the evidence placed before me that (the accused) was an active participant
in the planning and deliberation that preceded this homicide as evidenced,
among other things, by the computer records and the cell phone records that
show she was in constant communication with (co-accused) on the night before
the murder as he stood in the darkness near their intended victim's home. . .
“It is sufficient to observe that on the evidence before me, it is apparent that the
prosecution has strong evidence that Stefanie Rengel was an innocent victim
who had done nothing to provoke the attack that led to her death. It is apparent
that the motive for this murder was senseless jealously on the part of (the
accused). It engendered a hatred so vile that she wanted the object of her
jealousy, an innocent adolescent, dead.”
"Although the crown has a strong case, "evidence has a way of changing over
time and that what appears to be "strong evidence" at the start of a case could
turn out to be "not so strong" when it comes to the trial."
"The accused must remain in jail "in order to maintain confidence in the
administration of justice."
Melissa Todorovic is crying. A court officer hands her a tissue.
Judge McCombs "I see (the accused) is in some distress. I'm not surprised."
Melissa Bagshaw is tried as an adult.
At trial there is NO evidence that Stefanie Rengel ever spread rumours about
Melissa Todorovic contrary to her claims.
Marshall Sack (Todorovic's attorney) "There's no evidence of "my client, in any
way, encouraging her co-accused to commit'' this crime, as alleged. And, further,
that she was at home when that crime was committed."
MSN chats, messages and Facebook postings are entered as evidence.
The documents “demonstrate that Melissa Todorovic is jealous. controlling,
highly-manipulative, and obsessed with a hatred for Stefanie Rengel.
Evidence of her nasty demeanor isn't contested by the defense.
FORENSIC PSYCHIATRY TESTIMONY
Lisa Ramshaw (Forensic Psychiatrist) Dr. Ramshaw testifies that Doug
Bagshaw had a long standing history of school suspensions and persistent
low grade violence such as fighting.
"Tests show Doug Bagshaw is in the “58th percentile for violently re-offending
within 10 years of opportunity,” but that he is in the 37th percentile on what's
called the psychopathy checklist, which suggests only a moderate risk of
re-offending. The ray of hope with him is that he is quite capable of human
connection and remorse."
"Doug Bagshaw once told me “This is me, regardless of whether I get youth
or adult [sentence]. I am alive. No use of me really complaining, 'cause then
I look like a selfish prick. I took someone's life and didn't get a death sentence.”
Dr. Julian Gojer "Ms. Todorovic appears unremorseful because she is an
immature girl who has trouble expressing her emotions. Ms. Todorovic is
unhappy with her body, and suffers from body dysmorphic disorder.
Dr. Gojer testified that Melissa's instructions to her boyfriend (such as,
"I want her dead, D.B. We've been through this," and "Cut fucking leotards"
when he was stalling and claiming he didn't have a mask) were but comments
"not made to be taken literally. She said that what she did was to utter words
and "what Doug Bagshaw did was his choice."
Judge Nordheimer "I have difficulty accepting [that] explanation, noting that
according to you, Dr. Gojer, "Melissa's family said that she had a full range of
emotions in the home setting." If you meant this as a primary diagnosis and
intended it to explain her conduct, it borders "on the facile."
Dr. Klassen, a psychologist and a prison official all testified that Melissa
Todorovic exhibits a striking lack of remorse for Stefanie Rengel's death.
Even 18 months afterwards, Ms. Todorovic is still minimizing what she did,
still having thoughts of hurting other people (those who said "hurtful things"
about her during the case).
Dr. Phil Klassen (Court-appointed psychiatrist) "Ms. Todorovic probably
would be dangerous only in intimate, or domestic, relationships, and that
any potential victims would likely be "intimate partners, third parties and
"It's my sense that Melissa could, in different contexts, be at low, medium or
high risk of [direct or facilitated] aggressive behaviour. I don't really know.
And I am troubled by her resistance to "any notion that she has a problem
or is in need of help."
Marshall Sack (Defence lawyer) for Todorovic, asks the jury to read all three
volumes of MSN instant messaging and Facebook postings (thousands) to
understand the context of the exchanges between Melissa and Doug
THE JURY RENDERS A VERDICT
GUILTY - 1st Degree Murder.
2009 - July 28 -
Ontario Superior Court Judge Ian Nordheimer
"Ms. Todorovic springs from a stable background, with loving, hard-working
parents and a younger brother who clearly adores her. Ms Todorovic has
no criminal record and no previous brushes with the law. She was a good,
if dogged rather than brilliant, student. She had friends.fair share of boy
friends. In fact, she has had all of the structure and support to develop
as a normal, respectful, considerate, law-abiding person."
"Ultimately in this case, we are left with a horrific event caused by a young
person for reasons that are still unfathomable. The sum of the psychiatric
evidence, is that there is some risk of a repetition of this conduct. While
the precise degree of risk is unknown, the nature and extent of Melissa's
role in this incident is cause for grave concern."
"A youth sentence - a maximum of six years in custody, four in the community,
and then no supervision - would have meant that just as Ms. Todorovic's
personality was fully developed, good or bad, she would be back on the
streets, free as a bird, completely unmonitored."
And that, is unacceptable. The concept that a young person would ultimately
be left free of supervision where there has yet to be an accurate diagnosis of
the problem,nor any effective treatment program developed, is as contrary to
the need for the public's protection as one could imagine."
Ms. Todorovic's recent statement in court, made at the end of the sentencing
hearing earlier this month, was the proverbial day late - and a dollar short,
after many other opportunities to express regret have passed by. She said
that she rued "my part" in Stefanie's death - hardly, an "unequivocal
acceptance of responsibility for the crucial role that she played ... "
"I do not accept that Melissa has a reduced responsibility for this terrible act.
A person who plans and orchestrates and directs another person to take the
life of a human being is at least as morally culpable as the person who does
the actual act. Put simply, the puppet master is not less blameworthy than
the puppet. Indeed, I would suggest that the master is more culpable since
he or she puts the wheels in motion and then stands back under a facade of
disassociation while the scheme that they have created unfolds."
The Judge hands down the harshest possible sentence for a 1st Degree Murder
conviction in Canada: Melissa Todorovic receives Life. She is eligible for
parole after serving 7 years.
Ontario Court of Appeal - Melissa Todorovic has filed an appeal stating
"the sentence was "unreasonable and excessive" and "based on an error
of law. Justice Ian Nordhiemer, of the Ontario Court of Justice, should not
have admitted certain evidence and should not have passed an adult
DOUG BAGSHAW'S TRIAL
Doug Baghsaw pleads GUILTY to 1st Degree Murder.
Heather McArthur (Bagshaw's attorney) "My client is “absolutely remorseful
and his guilty plea speaks to that. My client knows that nothing he can do
would bring back Stefanie, but he hoped to spare the Rengel family the
further pain and suffering of another trial. He is acknowledging responsibility
for his actions.”
Dr. Derek Pallandi (Forensic Psychiatrist) testifies for the defense.
"Doug Bagshaw has shown signs of improvement while in detention."
"While he has a history of aggressive behaviour, most of it in the context of
school fights, and problems with acting before thinking, Doug Bagshaw has
responded to medication, is engaged in his studies and appears to be
interested in his overall treatment. It would be "reasonable" to expect him
to be rehabilitated within eight to ten years."
"I expect Doug Bagshaw to have continued problems controlling his anger,
but there is "no reasonable or substantial expectation" that he would execute
any other severe violence, aside from if he found himself in a situation that
mirrored his relationship with Melissa Todorovic.
"You can't say beyond a shadow of a doubt who will reoffend and who will
not reoffend. You're still predicting human behaviour."
Dr. Pallandi emphasizes the role that Melissa Todorovic had in the murder.
"Doug Bagshaw is starting to develop an appreciation for how toxic their
relationship had become."
Crown Attorney Robin Flumerfelt "What about D.B. could compel him to
kill a girl, someone he, admittedly, liked?" "There are a lot of people, even
immature people, who couldn't be coaxed into murder."
Dr. Pallandi "I would agree with that. I don't know that it is one factor," rather
a host of issues, including immaturity, impulsiveness and poor sense of self,
that lead to the crime."
Crown Attorney Robin Flumerfelt reads to the court an agreed statement
of facts outlining the details in the planning and the carryiing out of Stefanie
Rengel's deliberate homicide.
Doug Bagshaw (19) cries as he apologizes.
"I deserve whatever sentence I get. I really can't express how sorry I am for
what I did. I want to ask for forgiveness, but I cannot even forgive myself.
The only thing I can do is accept responsibility for my actions and express
my deep sorrow and regret. I deserve whatever sentence I receive.
To Stefanie's family, I am so sorry. And Stefanie, I am sorry."
Crown Prosecutor Robin Flumerfelt "An adult sentence will hold D.B.
accountable for a murder that was planned and deliberate of someone
he liked. "It chills the mind to consider what he is capable of doing to
someone he doesn't like."
Ontario Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer
"Doug Bagshaw will be permitted to stay in a youth correctional facility until
he is 21 years old. It is not only in his best interests, it is in the best interests
"Normally a young offender is sent to an adult prison at the age of 20. That
because of the educational and psychological progress Bagshaw is making
in a youth facility, he should be permitted to stay there until January 2011.
Bagshaw will then be transferred to an adult penitentiary.
Crown Prosecutor Flumerfelt reads Stefanie Rengel's family's statement:
"Although nothing will bring back Stefanie, we are relieved that both of Stefanie’s
killers have been now convicted of first-degree murder. We would like to thank
everyone who has supported us so far.”