Judge tells Ontario man he will 'never be seen in public again' while sentencing him to life in prison
TORONTO -- Graphic content warning: This story contains details readers may find disturbing.
A 47-year-old Oshawa man sentenced to life in prison for killing and dismembering two young women in Oshawa over the span of nearly a decade is a “dangerous predator” who will “never be seen in public again,” a judge said Friday.
At the conclusion of a two-day sentencing hearing on Friday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Joseph Di Luca sentenced Adam Strong to life in prison without the chance of parole for 25 years for the murder of 18-year-old Rori Hache, who disappeared in 2017. Strong was also handed a concurrent 18-year sentence for manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old Kandis Fitzpatrick, who was last seen by her family in 2008.
"You are a dangerous predator. You decided to feed your selfish desires and in doing so you took two vulnerable lives,” Di Luca said when delivering his sentence on Friday.
"Your moment before us is done. From here you will go to prison. You will never be seen in public again. In time you will be forgotten...You will neither be famous nor infamous, you will simply be gone."
An investigation was first launched into Strong’s crimes in September 2017 when Hache’s torso was found in Lake Ontario weeks after she was reported missing on Aug. 30. Strong was only linked to the investigation months later after plumbers discovered what appeared to be human flesh in a clogged drain in his basement apartment and notified police.
During a search of his unit, police found Hache’s head and other body parts in a freezer in Strong’s bedroom.
In his decision at the end of Strong’s judge-alone trial, Di Luca said he was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Strong sexually assaulted and murdered Hache, who was believed to be pregnant at the time she was killed.
Di Luca concluded that Hache was likely killed in Strong’s bedroom, where blood splatter was found on the walls, ceiling and other items.
The judge said the evidence suggested that there was a “blood-letting” event in Strong’s bedroom and the amount of blood found on a “spreader bar,” which the judge described as a sex toy used for bondage-style activities, indicated that Hache was likely being restrained when she was killed.
The injuries found during Hache’s autopsy indicated that she was repeatedly struck in the head and face with a hard, blunt object, such as a hammer, Di Luca said.
While Fitzpatrick's body was never found, her DNA was discovered on a hunting knife in Strong’s apartment during a search of the unit following the discovery of Hache's remains.
Although Strong was also charged with murdering Fitzpatrick, Di Luca said there was insufficient evidence to prove that Strong intended to kill her, saying only that it was clear the accused "unlawfully caused her death."
Strong’s lawyers conceded that he dismembered the two women but denied that he murdered them.
In victim impact statements submitted to the court on Thursday, the families of both women spoke about the trauma they have faced in the wake of Strong’s horrific crimes.
Hache’s mother Shanan Dionne, who delivered her statement over Zoom, called Strong a “monster” who committed a “heinous crime” against her daughter.
“I will never see her fall in love, graduate school, be married and have children,” Dionne said.
“This monster took my angel and mutilated her. He tried to hide the evidence of what he had done.”
While the first-degree murder conviction for Hache’s death carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole for 25 years, the Crown pushed for an 18-year concurrent sentence for the manslaughter conviction in Fitzpatrick’s death, arguing that the indignity to her body and destroying evidence were aggravating factors.
"He made sure that all remnants of Kandis Fitzpatrick were destroyed. He tried to conceal not only who killed Kandis Fitzpatrick, but also the manner in which she was killed," Crown prosecutor Jinwon Kim told the court on Friday. "For ten years he went undetected."
The defence argued that a sentence in the range of eight to ten years would be more appropriate given the evidence that was available to the judge.
The 18-year sentence for manslaughter will not impact Strong’s parole eligibility period as it will be served at the same time as his life sentence, not consecutively. He will become eligible to apply for parole on Dec. 29, 2042.
Di Luca said Strong “has demonstrated in the clearest way possible” that there is no reasonable prospect for rehabilitation.
"The sentence I impose today can never undo the harm that Adam Strong has caused. It can never erase the horrors that the family of the victims have endured. It can never change the final moments of Ms. Hache's and Ms. Fitzpatrick's life and it cannot bring them back,” he said.
“It can ensure that Mr. Strong will never again walk completely free in our community. The sentence I impose will likely ensure that he will never get out of prison.”
With files from CTV News Toronto's Mike Walker