Ottawa Sun Online: NEWS - A killer's bag of dirty tricks
Ottawa Sun Online: NEWS - A killer's bag of dirty tricks

Sun, April 24, 2005

A killer's bag of dirty tricks
A man convicted in an Ottawa slaying got 2-for-1 credit even for time spent terrorizing neighbours, Mark Bonokoski reports


When the Brockville police could not nab the sicko who was dumping urine and feces on his car, Darryl Amoroso decided to become his own private eye. He installed a small surveillance camera in his yard -- at his own expense -- and then sat back to see who he would capture in the act.

No doubt he had his suspicions.

Living next door with his mother, as part of a court order for his release on bail, was one Henry Danninger, a two-bit drug dealer who upped his criminal ante when he stabbed to death a 23-year-old University of Ottawa engineering student named Andy Moffitt, coincidentally also from Brockville.

What Danninger did on the eve of Christmas Eve 1998 was arm himself with what he called a "bad-ass knife," and then he headed off to the Coyote Bar in Sandy Hill in order to confront a former roommate he suspected of scooping his stash of drugs.

In the melee that ensued, following a salt-filled beer bottle being smashed over a head and a patron being kneed twice in the groin, Andy Moffitt -- a computer whiz celebrating the end of exams -- stepped forward as an innocent peacemaker and was fatally stabbed through the heart.


The act of courage that cost the young man his life saw him being posthumously awarded the Governor General's Medal of Bravery in 2003.

As part of his bail conditions on a second-degree murder charge, Henry Danninger had to be in his mother's house from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m., could not leave the premises unless accompanied by specified relatives and had to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

These were conditions he apparently kept for three years.

Suddenly, however, he began skulking out of his mother's house after midnight, armed with a bucket of urine and feces he had hidden away in the garage.

And then he took that bucket and poured its contents over his neighbour's car and driveway.

That neighbour, Darryl Amoroso, says it is a "situation we would just as soon have behind us." And so he did not want to comment on his neighbour's son, who again postponed a parole hearing that was slated to be held last week.

"All I know is that we didn't provoke him," says Amoroso. "As to what did provoke him, who knows?"

Whatever it was -- "stress," said his lawyer -- Henry Danninger, then 30, was far from being a one-time offender when it came to his filthy tricks campaign.

Darryl Amoroso's backyard camera caught him on tape, not once or twice, but on 24 separate occasions.

The assaults were virtually nightly. Urine over the car, feces in the driveway, sardines on the doorstep.

After Amoroso turned his tapes over to the Brockville police, Danninger's bail was yanked for breach of conditions, and he was once again behind bars.

As prosecutor Harry Clarke would later tell a court, Danninger's actions were a form of "terrorism" that caused considerable grief to his victim, his wife and their two small children who could no longer play in their yard.


When Danninger finally decided to enter a guilty plea to manslaughter back in the spring of 2003, Ontario Superior Court Justice Roydon Kealey sentenced him to eight years imprisonment, but lobbed off three years in two-for-one credits for the days spent in pre-trial custody.

And, believe it or not, he was also given two-for-one credit for the days during which he was out on bail -- the judge citing the strict conditions and curfews as warranting an additional reduction of his sentence.

In other words, Henry Danninger was given time off his sentence for time he didn't spend in jail -- including the 24 days during which he snuck out on his midnight prowls to pour buckets of urine over his neighbour's car.

   Letter to the Media
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   Mike's Speech
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   Andy's Story
   Our Brother