There are true stories that chill your blood, that make you wonder how such things are possible and in your home city, a place not known for this sort of evil. David Bagshaw, sentenced to life in prison for killing Stefanie Rengel on the orders of his jealous girlfriend, redefines the sickest form of obedience. He was so young he could only be identified as D.B. until his sentencing.
He was sentenced for killing his girlfriend’s imagined teen rival — a girl he had never even met, the daughter of two policemen, whom he stabbed to death on a residential Toronto sidewalk on New Year’s Day. The case has horrified Toronto and me, who grew up and went to high school there. I once covered a trial there whose details remain with me still, more than 20 years later — of a teen boy who sat eating his dinner off a TV tray in the basement of his home while his friend beat a young man to death in front of him. Then they cut off his arms and legs and stuck him in a freezer, which, bloodstained, was wheeled into the courtroom. You can’t forget things like that, no matter how much you want to.
In both cases, all of these kids are white, from middle-class families. They did not grow up marinated in violence. bullets whizzing past their ears in a terrifying ghetto.
What made this young girl so sick? Why did this young man become so depraved? What’s going on here?