There’s jealousy and then there’s crazy, murderous jealousy. In high school.
A Toronto girl, 15 when she was accused and therefore unnamed in all press reports for more than a year — urged her boyfriend to kill a girl she thought was trying to steal him away from her, Stefanie Rengel. A sad irony, in this age of helicopter parenting, both of Rengel’s parents are police officers.
Here’s a chilling piece of a police interview with the girl who ordered the killing, finally named after she was sentenced as an adult, as Melissa Todorovic, now 17; her family recently said they plan to file an appeal. Sentenced as an adult, and given an automatic life sentence for first-degree murder, she will be eligible for parole after five to seven years.
The guilty verdict was handed down in March; “D.B.”, her boyfriend who committed the crime, stabbing Rengel and leaving her to die on a midtown city sidewalk, is due for a sentencing hearing in September.
I’ve only covered two court cases in my career, but one of them, similar in that one teen killed another on a third’s orders, will never leave me, although I wish it would more than 20 years later. The accused killer sat eating a TV dinner while his accomplice smashed a liquor bottle into the face of another teen, and left him to die on the basement floor. In that trial, a white freezer was wheeled into the courtroom, bloodstains down its sides from when they cut off the body’s arms and legs and stuffed him inside it. (We dubbed it the roast beef trial. Sick, yes. It’s the only way you can even cope with this sort of filth, joking about it.)
Readers’ note: In these links you’ll see a reference to the “prisoner’s box”, a Canadian court system difference from the U.S.; the accused sits separately, alone, in a small contained bench separate from their defense attorney.