28 April 2009

"Yet if in one breath she appeared..."

"...to be suggesting she left before she could be given the results, in the next she said she had finished the test and said again that, 'I'm sure if I didn't pass my test, I wouldn't be standing right here with all of you now, guaranteed'."

RELATED: Yeah... weird is one word...
-- WOODSTOCK, Ont. -- The mother of Victoria Stafford is recounting her mysterious journey in a limousine to a Toronto hotel room where a stranger offered to aid with any ransom demands.

While McDonald acknowledged that the meeting might sound strange she says many weird things have happened since her daughter disappeared.


Neo Conservative said...

[full text follows]

Missing girl's mom hedges about polygraph
April 28, 2009 at 4:21 AM EDT

WOODSTOCK, ONT. — cblatchford@globeandmail.com

Victoria Stafford's mother says she "ended up breaking" and bolted after her polygraph test about two weeks ago because she was sleep-deprived and at her wits' end, but that she would take another if police ask.

Tara McDonald made the remarks yesterday as she met reporters on her front stoop for what has become her daily press conference to keep the disappearance of her eight-year-old daughter, nicknamed Tori, squarely in the news and in the public imagination.

Since the little girl disappeared on April 8 on her way home from school shortly after her Grade 3 class was dismissed, her 30-year-old mother has suggested that while she took a lie detector test on April 11, she neither asked for nor was given the results. Several times, in reply to questions, she has told reporters that if she hadn't passed, she wouldn't have been allowed to leave.

But it is standard procedure for Canadian polygraph examiners to give the test subjects their results in what's called the post-test interview, and when Ms. McDonald was presented with this widespread practice yesterday, she replied, "That's really, I can't even discuss it, what happened that day.

"I went to Kitchener, I took my polygraph test, and it is also a polygraph examiner's job to try to - what's the word I'm looking for? - to try to mix you and to try to, and I ended up breaking and I ended up leaving, so it's not because they didn't give me the results of my polygraph test, and it's not because I had anything to hide, it's because it had been three days since my daughter was missing, I hadn't slept, I was ready to snap and I just said, 'I want to go, I want to get out of here and I want to go home.' "

Ms. McDonald said she saw a doctor the next day "because I just, imagine being three days and then onto the fourth without your child and people are berating you and looking at you and pointing a finger at you, you're going to lose it sooner or later, and I snapped at that point, and I left."

She was prescribed medication, she said, but added that she doesn't use it regularly, only when she is feeling "really, really, really anxious."

Ms. McDonald, her former husband and Tori's father, Rodney Stafford, Ms. McDonald's boyfriend, James Goris, and other family members took the polygraph tests, which, while not admissible in Canadian courts, are used frequently as an investigative tool by police.

Wearing a top in her daughter's favourite colour, purple, the young mother said clearly twice that it wasn't a question of the police failing to give her the test results, yet she appeared reluctant to discuss them.

Asked directly if she had passed, Ms. McDonald laughed a little, then said, "Honestly, I don't know.

"Because they come back and they sit down and they don't, like, immediately come out and tell you what your results are so, I mean, I didn't make it to that level."

Yet if in one breath she appeared to be suggesting she left before she could be given the results, in the next she said she had finished the test and said again that, "I'm sure if I didn't pass my test, I wouldn't be standing right here with all of you now, guaranteed.

"So anybody who's got negative [feelings,] take that one to the bank. Think about it, you know - if I didn't [pass,] I'm pretty sure I'd be somewhere else right now."

When asked if she had been "pressed hard" after the test and perhaps that was why she snapped, Ms. McDonald replied, "I've been pressed harder than anybody can even imagine, you know, and there does come a breaking point, when you lose it, like when somebody, because I feel like if even one person is pointing a finger in the wrong direction, that's one person that's not going in the right direction or in a different direction, so that's the way I feel."

She said when she left after the polygraph, "There was no yelling or screaming, like I just said you know, 'If we can continue this at another time, I would really prefer to do so because I am just mentally drained.' Like at that day I pretty much hadn't slept in three days, and it was just enough for me. People can speculate on that you know because they're going to no matter what you say, no matter what you do, you can't win for losing and that's just ..."

But she said, "I would take another one, now that I'm a little calmer, but like I said, I completed the test and I had a great discussion with the person afterwards, but I was just frustrated and tired and I had just had enough, and I still get that way almost daily, there comes a point when I don't think I can go on and I don't really have much choice."

Mr. Stafford, who was at his former wife's side yesterday because, he said, it was time for the little girl's family to come together as one, also found the polygraph nerve-wracking: "Every time they said something to do with Victoria, my heart would crush."

Ms. McDonald interjected, "They say 'Clear your mind, clear your mind'; it's not physically, humanly possible when your child is missing to clear your mind. It's just not going to happen."

There was a wild rumour here early yesterday that the little girl had been found in Embro, a village not far from this southwestern Ontario town about 130 kilometres from Toronto, but it proved to be false. It was in part to quash that rumour that Mr. Stafford skipped an exam to be with Ms. McDonald.

"Victoria has not been found, okay?" the 33-year-old father said yesterday, his voice close to breaking. "We can't be having people say Victoria has been found because that turns heads away from Victoria ... nobody will search because they believe she's home."

But Oxford Community Police and the Ontario Provincial Police, who lead the investigation, were in fact yesterday continuing both a door-to-door canvas and a search of the Oxford County landfill southwest of town.

While detectives had no break in the case to report, Ms. McDonald did - announcing that an anonymous donor has come forward to offer "whatever amount that whoever has our daughter wants ... If you have our daughter and it's money you want," she said, "there's somebody that is willing to give it to you."

Ms. McDonald said that while police are still investigating the offer, she believes the donor is genuine.

Anonymous said...

For the record...I've had a gut feeling about this case from the beginning.
Mom...too much cool, hardly any shock.
I really hope I'm wrong.


Neo Conservative said...

mom has raised more than a few eyebrows... with her compulsive, non-stop commentary, (ie., she worries tori wasn't being bathed by her kidnappers)... and showing up for her daily press conferences all duded up... with brightly painted purple toenails, no less.

now... grief can make people do funny things... but this situation is starting to veer off into bizarro land.