Exclusive: Amanda Todd’s father speaks out
Published Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:34PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:36PM PST
Days before a planned memorial for Amanda Todd, the bullying victim’s father sat down with CTV News to share memories of his daughter – and his desire to see her tormentors brought to justice.
Sitting at the computer in his Maple Ridge home, Norman Todd played a video of Amanda singing a heart-wrenching rendition of the Adele ballad, Someone Like You.
“She loved to sing,” Todd said. “I loved to listen to her sing. It was something special we had between us.”
It’s been five weeks since his 15-year-old daughter took her own life, following months of torment, physical abuse and blackmail. In her death, Amanda’s become an icon of the anti-bullying movement, her YouTube plea for help viewed more than six million times worldwide.
But for Todd, she was more than that; a beloved daughter he remembers as “just a joy to be with.”
“When things were going good in her life, the good times we had together, she was just a blast,” Todd said. “[She was] high-spirited, wanted to do everything, wanted to explore, try everything… I miss that terribly.”
Todd recalled the day she first laid eyes on a dog she named Charlee. It was love at first sight, and Todd couldn’t refuse to drive her all the way to Kamloops to pick the animal up.
“She just looked at him and when she saw him on the Internet she said, ‘Oh dad, he’s just so adorable, look at him,’” Todd said. “No other dog would do once she saw him.”
Among his daughter’s tormentors was a cyber stalker who spread a nude photo of her to her classmates, and tried to extort her for sexual favours online. Todd said he’s anxious for police to track him down.
“I want to see nothing more than this pedophile caught. It makes me mad, it makes me hurt. I would love to see this person brought to justice,” he said.
Police have a team of officers investigating the case, but no charges have been laid so far.
Todd said he wonders if there was more they could have done before his daughter was driven to suicide.
“I don’t think they chased it hard enough at that time. I don’t think it was taken seriously enough,” he said.
Amanda changed schools repeatedly to get away from the bullies, but they always caught up. And when she was beaten up by a group of girls, Todd said police considered it nothing more than a schoolyard fight.
“I think they should’ve done something about those girls,” he said. “People are ruthless. They just kept attacking her for whatever reason, they thought it was fun.”
The memorial for Amanda is being held on Sunday at the Red Robinson Theatre in Coquitlam. Guests who would like to attend the event, called a Celebration of Life and Happy Birthday, must register online.
Attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for donation to Share Family and Community Services.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Michele Brunoro