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- Nov 24, 2017
At 17, he stabbed young mom Ashley Arzaga 42 times in the name of the "incel rebellion." His lawyer wants him sentenced as a youth.
MANDEL: The worthlessness of an incel terrorist's apology This killer's words ring hollow in comparison to the grief that still echoes in this court Get the latest from Michele Mandel straight to your inbox Author of the article: Michele Mandel Published Oct 12, 2023 • 3 minute read 41 Comments Ashley Arzaga (right) is pictured in this photo. Ashley Arzaga (right) is pictured in this photo. GoFundMe Article content He is the first incel to be sentenced as a terrorist in Canada. Advertisement 2 Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content Now 21 and identified only as O.S., he sat lumpen in the prisoner’s box with no sign of emotion as words of anguish filled the courtroom from the family of the single young mother he hacked to death three years ago. Join the conversation Have your say Leave a comment and share your thoughts with our community. Read All 41 Comments Article content The words left federal prosecutor Lisa Mathews in tears and defence lawyer Monte MacGregor shaken, but O.S just stared straight ahead. Later, he would stand and haltingly read his perfunctory letter of apology, insisting in a monotone that he has changed, that he no longer hates women, that he regrets ripping a mother from her child. But how hollow those words will sound in comparison to the grief that still echoes in this court. O.S. was 17, a friendless, high school dropout living in his divorced father’s basement consuming the dark online world of incel misogyny where losers blame women for all their problems and where he described himself as a “proud incel,” “seeker of martyrdom” and a hater of “feminists/atheists/satanists and all kinds of other degenerates.“ opening envelope Your Midday Sun Your noon-hour look at what's happening in Toronto and beyond. By signing up you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. Article content Advertisement 3 Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content In February 2020, he armed himself with a 17-inch sword he’d inscribed “Thot slayer” — slang for slut — tucked a note in his pocket that read, “Long live the incel rebellion,” and walked 1.6 km to the Crown Spa, an erotic massage parlour on Dufferin St. south of Wilson Ave. Recommended from Editorial Murder victim Ashley Arzaga, right, is pictured in an undated photo. MANDEL: Incel sword slayer was a terrorist, Crown says Murder victim Ashley Arzaga, right, is pictured in an undated photo. MANDEL: Another incel-inspired killer blames the world for his problems Murder victim Ashley Arzaga, right, is pictured in an undated photo. Incel sword slayer to be sentenced as terrorist Alek Minassian is booked at 32 Division after the April 23, 2018 van attack in Toronto MANDEL: Psychiatrist says Minassian a mass murderer who happens to have autism Arzaga, 24, greeted him with a friendly smile. He unleashed his sword and stabbed her 42 times. “What happened to my sister Ashley Arzaga has destroyed my entire family,” her older sister told the court in a statement read by Mathews. “My niece, who was six at the time, lost her only surviving parent. She lost her father before she was even born and now she had to endure losing her mother tragically as well.” Advertisement 4 Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content Her niece celebrated Mother’s Day at the cemetery. “If this individual is released to society, I fear for my sister, my niece, my mother as well as myself as we are all females and this individual has a hatred towards women.” Her younger sister said she can never erase the image of seeing Arzaga in her coffin. “Ashley was one of the toughest people I knew and never once did I ever think I would lose her,” she wrote in her statement. “She left me and my family to finish off where she started and make sure her daughter grows up knowing that she didn’t leave her by choice.” Police officers responded after a woman was stabbed in a massage parlour. Police officers responded after a woman was stabbed in a massage parlour. Photo by Kevin Connor /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network The Crown’s voice broke as Arzaga’s sister described hearing her orphaned niece cry at night, asking when her mom was coming home. “Me and my family are not asking you to take pity on us,” she told Superior Court Judge Suhail Akhtar. “We want justice for my sister and all the other victims involved.” Advertisement 5 Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content Arzaga’s manager narrowly escaped death when O.S. slashed at her with his sword, yelling “You f—— whore,” “you f—— bitch,” “Die, die, die” and “Stupid whore, die, die.” She bravely wrestled away his weapon and used it to stab him in the back. He told paramedics he’d come to kill everyone. “I’m happy I got one,” he said at the time. O.S. pleaded guilty last year to first-degree murder and attempted murder and the judge ruled in June that the attack amounted to an act of terrorism. RECOMMENDED VIDEO Crown Chikeziri Igwe argued that nothing less than two adult life sentences — which would carry a maximum of 10 years in custody before eligibility for parole — will protect society and hold him accountable. Court heard O.S. is still obsessed with conspiracy theories and is vulnerable to radicalization. Advertisement 6 Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Article content Calling his client “tragic and pathetic,” his lawyer offered a heartfelt apology to O.S.’s victims and acknowledged his “uphill battle” convincing the judge to impose a youth sentence — a maximum 10 years with only six in custody — after his client refused a plan to take specialized rehabilitation programming because he’s afraid for his safety. O.S. then stood and apologized to Arzaga’s family and the manager he injured. “And to the little girl, I am sorry for taking your mother away and destroying the rest of your childhood. I hope you accept my apology but at the same time, I understand if you don’t.” Akhtar will deliver his sentence Nov. 28. [email protected]