Neil Robert Wilkinson, 35, was found beaten, stabbed and asphyxiated in his Charles St. East apartment on December 15, 1977. Wilkinson “was known to hang out at the Parkside and St. Charles” taverns. Wilkinson left the Parkside on December 9 just after 1a.m. with two friends. He then proceeded on his own south, along Yonge St. He was wearing a “very expensive-looking brown leather jacket, bluejeans and light beige leather snowboots.
He was found nude on his bed, dead, after he failed to show up to work at the Royal Bank for four days. His apartment had been ransacked: a television, coat, two watches and some money was taken. Wilkinson died from asphyxiating on his own blood. His killer was arrested the next month.
“I’ve had homosexual experiences before but I don’t go that way,”
Twenty-four-year-old James Allan Walker of no fixed address was arrested on January 30, 1978, in the Parkside Tavern and charged with first-degree murder. Walker pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but the Crown rejected the offer. Justice Donald Morand ordered the trial by jury to proceed.
In court, future police chief Staff Sgt. Bill McCormick testified that Walker said “everything blew up,” and “he just got to me.” McCormick said Walker insisted he was not gay. “I’ve had homosexual experiences before but I don’t go that way,” he said. He was described as “indifferent” to his actions.
After alcohol and marijuana, Wilkinson started to talk about sexual fantasies including young children, and that made Walker enraged. A witness testified in court that Wilkinson was interested in bondage. Walker “kicked and stomped” Wilkinson to death and then showered before leaving. Walker’s feet were injured as a result of stomping on Wilkinson’s face. He could not explain why he was also naked, saying “I don’t know… Sorry, I can’t think of an answer.” He later testified that he took his clothes off to stop Wilkinson from taking them off.
A psychiatrist testified that made no sense, and that Walker was a dangerous, violent person with a serious personality disorder and poor impulse control. Walker had formerly been a male prostitute.
Walker was found guilty of second-degree and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 12 years.
Murder Village Map
Name: Neil Robert Wilkinson
Date of Death: December 15, 1977
Manner of Death: Asphyxiation
Location: Charles St. East
Suspect Name: James Allan Walker
Conviction & Sentence: second-degree and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 12 years