'You sir have brought darkness to everyone,' Rori Hache's father says to daughter's killer at sentencing hearing
TORONTO -- Graphic content warning: This story contains details readers may find disturbing.
The father of one of two young women killed and dismembered by Adam Strong said in a statement Thursday that the gruesome murder of his 18-year-old daughter is “every parent’s worst nightmare.”
“Because of this monster we will never get to walk Rori or Kandis down the aisle, we will never get to be grandparents, we will never get to spend the holidays or birthdays together,” Erik Hache said in a written victim impact statement, which was read in court by the Crown prosecutor during the sentencing hearing for Strong on Thursday.
“You sir have brought darkness to everyone.”
At the conclusion of his judge-alone trial in March, 47-year-old Adam Strong was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Rori Hache and manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old Kandis Fitzpatrick.
Hache disappeared in 2017 and Fitzpatrick was last seen by her family in 2008.
Hache’s torso was discovered in the Oshawa Harbour weeks after she was last seen on Aug. 30, 2017. Her head and other body parts were found in a freezer in Strong’s bedroom months later after plumbers discovered what appeared to be human flesh in a clogged drain in his basement apartment.
In his decision, Ontario Superior Court Justice Joseph Di Luca concluded that Hache was likely killed in Strong’s bedroom, where blood splatter was found on the walls, ceiling and other items.
Di Luca said the evidence suggests 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, indicates that Hache was likely being restrained when she was killed. Di Luca said the injuries found during Hache’s autopsy indicate that she was repeatedly struck in the head and face with a hard, blunt object, such as a hammer.
While Fitzpatrick’s body was never located, her DNA was found on a hunting knife in Strong’s apartment during a search of the unit following the discovery of Hache's remains.
During the trial, Strong's lawyers conceded that there was sufficient evidence to prove the accused dismembered the two women but argued that he did not murder them.
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.
Strong was also charged with first-degree murder in the death of Fitzpatrick but the judge 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 sentencing hearing was initially scheduled to be held last month but the proceedings were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thirteen victim impact statements are expected to be read during the two-day hearing, which began on Thursday.
'This monster took my angel and mutilated her'
In a victim impact statement read to the court on Thursday, Hache’s mother Shanan Dionne lamented over the future that was stolen from 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....It is now time for you to pay and for you to be sentenced for this heinous crime you committed against my daughter.”
A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole for 25 years.
Fitzpatrick’s mother Vicki Iadipaolo said the “sleepless nights” and “worrying as a parent” will never disappear.
“I will never know the joy of watching her grow,” she said. “You robbed the world of a beautiful soul. I hope and pray that you one day grow a conscience.”
Her younger sister, Oksana Fitzpatrick, wrote in a statement that she will never be able to go to her big sister for advice because Strong “decided her life wasn’t worth living.”
"I will never get to hear her voice or see her smile,” she said.
Fitzpatrick’s father Bill, who read his statement in court, said he was “shattered” when he learned of his daughter’s fate after years of searching for her.
“My family lost someone we all love so much,” he said. “He took so much from us.”