Wayward in the Walsingham

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2018)

High-school teacher Francis Desjarlais, known to police for his “homosexual tendencies,” was found beaten to death on July 17, 1966 in a $4 room at Toronto’s Walsingham Hotel at 321 Jarvis St. The Walsingham was part of a notorious section of Jarvis St. that included murder, prostitution and theft in various low-rent hotels.

Less than a month later, the police were offering a $2,000 reward for the killer of Desjarlais, 42. Desjarlais, who lived in Windsor, Ontario, often visited Toronto. Police knew on July 15 he had gone to The Bay House on Bay Street some time between 9:30p.m. and 10p.m. Police said he frequented “tenderloin” bars.

Police had identified the possible suspects after combing through a little black book of 100 names found scattered among the Desjarlais’ possessions.

Desjarlais once taught English and History at Georgian Bay area high schools, but was jobless when he came to Toronto in January, 1966. He had finally got a job teaching in Hay River, NWT in April, where he taught part time, and was heading home to Windsor when he stopped in Toronto.

Desjarlais was brutally beaten with a chair, and “part of his throat was gouged out with a broken liquor bottle.” A man had been seen leaving his room the night before his body was found.

Witnesses noted the alleged assailant had stopped to carefully comb his black hair after the murder. On August 25, 1966, police announced the arrest of two men. Karl H. Frankl, 23 was arrested at the Bay House at 572 Bay St., and John Collins, 33, who was arrested in Sault Ste. Marie. It was noted that Collins had black hair.

Police had identified the possible suspects after combing through a little black book of 100 names found scattered among the Desjarlais’ possessions.

Police also arrested Therese Antoine and Dorothy Wemigwans as material witnesses in the murder.

Frankl and Collins were both charged with capital murder. I have not been able to track down the results of the trials.


Murder Village Map

 


Vital Statistics

Name: Francis Desjarlais
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July 17, 1966
Manner of Death: Beaten and stabbed
Location: 321 Jarvis St.
Suspect Name: Karl H. Frankl and John Collins
Conviction & Sentence: unknown

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Sawyer Cowley

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