On the morning of Monday September 20, 1976, police responded to a 911 call and found the body of James Stewart Kennedy. He had been beaten to death and credit cards were stolen.
Kennedy, 59, lived at 262 Jarvis St., and worked at the Department of National Revenue. He was found beaten and strangled. A towel had been knotted around his neck and he was severely beaten in the face. He was last seen alive the previous Saturday at a gay bar, the St. Charles Tavern on Yonge St.
Police do not have a motive, and his case remains open.
By the end of 1977, Kennedy and other gay men – Neil Wilkinson, Harold Walkley, Bernard Guay, Brian Latocki and James Douglas Taylor – were dead within a two year period (1975-1977), and police were concerned about a serial killer stalking the gay community.
Det. Sgt. Bernard Nadeau of the Toronto Police Services asked for members of the community to come forward with information, but many were reluctant. In lieu of coming forward, Nadeau suggested, since bar hook-ups were common in many of the murders, “If you pick someone up in a public place like a bar, introduce him to a friend or in some way make it known to others that you are likely to leave together.”
Later, Inspector George Sellars of the homicide division said that although it had not been proven that a serial killer was on the loose targeting gay men, the murders were very similar.
Murder Village Map
Name: James Stewart Kennedy
Date of Death: September 20, 1976
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma, strangulation
Location: 262 Jarvis St
Suspect Name: unknown