`She died in my hands'

Bob Mitchell
Staff Reporter
Daniel Sylvester killed neighbour Alicia Ross after becoming enraged when she swore at him and called him "a loser" during an argument outside their homes.
In a dramatic police interview played for jurors yesterday, Sylvester not only confessed to killing Ross but also described and demonstrated how the 25-year-old woman died.
Sylvester, a social recluse, said he "slapped her in the face" and attacked her after she called him a "f------ loser" when she spotted him walking down a pathway between their upscale Markham homes about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 17, 2005.
The confrontation quickly escalated as Sylvester drove his right knee repeatedly into her upper chest and bashed her head several times on the ground.
"I was angry and humiliated ... I took offence ... I wanted to confront her," Sylvester, then 31, told York Det. Richard McVeity during a police interview on Sept. 20, 2005, after he turned himself in to police. "I knew I crossed the boundary when I hit her ... It was no longer verbal. It was physical. It was real. ..."
Extensive police searches were conducted for several weeks after Ross vanished. Her boyfriend Sean Hine, 29, was the prime suspect until Sylvester went to police a day after refusing to take a lie detector test. Police wanted him to take a polygraph to rule him out because of a suspicious drive he took about 5 a.m. the day Ross disappeared.
Now 33, Sylvester has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. He tried to plead guilty to manslaughter before his trial began in a Newmarket courtroom but Crown prosecutor Kelly Wright rejected his plea.
"I'm responsible for her disappearance ... I'm responsible for her death," Sylvester, who has a history of depression, told McVeity. "Basically, I killed her. She died in my hands."
Sylvester demonstrated how he forced Ross to the ground, kneed her, and grabbed her hair, smashing her head into the ground as they struggled, blood splattering on a fence and nearby pool heater.
"She looked dead. She wasn't breathing. She stopped struggling. She just lay there," Sylvester said. "I panicked ... I didn't know what to do ... I knew I was in serious trouble ... I knew I caused her serious bodily harm. I was scared."
He couldn't lift her because she felt "like a water bag" so he grabbed the sleeves of her T-shirt, twisted the ends of her dress and "dragged" her down the shared pathway, across the front steps of his home, and through the side door entrance to his garage, a distance of about 30 metres.
Sylvester used water and towels to wipe the blood from the garage floor and lined the trunk of his mother's Ford Mustang with a piece of cupboard before putting her body into the trunk. He said he wrapped duct tape around her hands to prevent them from "flailing" and also wrapped her bleeding head with rags and duct tape.
In the video, he said it had been a "typical and uneventful" day for him, sleeping, eating, and "wasting his time" channel surfing on his television. He also watched a movie before going outside, something he often did early in the morning.
This morning he encountered Ross exiting from her back gate.
"She said what the f--- are you doing?" Sylvester said. "I said I had just as much right to be here as her."
After he slapped her face they grabbed each other's shoulders and began to struggle but he managed to push her to the ground. He climbed on top of her after she kicked him in the ribs on his left side. Ross reached up and "clawed" at his hair as he pinned her shoulders to the ground.
"I kneed her in her solar plexus," Sylvester said, demonstrating how he drove his right knee several times into her upper body. He then showed how he grabbed her hair and forcibly drilled the back of her head several times into the ground.
"I knew she was fighting back ... I knew she couldn't stop. I knew I couldn't reason with her. I knew I couldn't apologize," Sylvester said, adding the struggle had "gone past the point of no return."

In panic mode, Sylvester left Ross's body on the grass for about 10 minutes as he figured out what to do.
He dragged her body into the garage where she lay for about 45 minutes and used a garden hose to wash the grass and the front steps of his home. He took a shower, and put their blood-stained clothing and towels into garbage bags, which he dumped on the way home from ditching her body in weeds just south of the town of Manilla.
Libra Girl
I'm always suspicious of these 'confessions' when the victim is dead, and there are no witnesses. As in "She called me an ****ing loser." One has to wonder what was done, or said before that supposed remark... In any event depression does not excuse the murderers totally out of control temper or reaction. Talk about overkill...
At the same time, you do see alot of really abusive women out there, its highly possible she hit him first and he just realised it wouldn't be believable. Women are just as abusive, and potentially more so then men. Statistically the report rates are about equal.. and to me it seems women are far more likely to report abuse then men are.

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