Teens Gone Mad — He Killed Her Rival, At His Girlfriend's Request

girl fight
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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?

Kill My Rival, Girl Ordered: "If It Takes More Than a Week, Then We're Just Going To be Friends."

Girls Fighting...
Image by Podknox via Flickr

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.