Forty-seven-year-old Kevin Lionel McBride advertised for a roommate for his 5600 Sheppard Avenue East apartment. Police believe a man responding to that ad on Saturday May 15, 1982, is the one who murdered him.
McBride had moved to Canada from Australia 17 years before his death, and had a thriving career as an interior decorator and an antique dealer. He ran the Emerald Buddha antique business out of his apartment. He had a special collection of crystal horses, and was known for dressing up in unusual outfits for dinner parties so everyone could have a laugh. He had been slated “give away” friend Susan Garant at her June wedding. “It’s hard to believe – Kevin was just not the type to get involved in any kind of trouble,” she told media.
McBride had worked for 10 years creating window displays for Lizanne, a fabric store chain in Toronto.
Police were called and found him stabbed multiple times in both the front and back of the upper torso.
McBride, who was considered a very punctual man, failed to show for a dinner date on Monday May 17, with friends. The friends went to McBride’s apartment superintendent and convinced him to open the door to his apartment.
McBride was found, fully clothed, stabbed to death on his living room floor.
Police were called and found him stabbed multiple times in both the front and back of the upper torso. His car and credit cards had been stolen.
In June, 1982, two men used one of McBride’s credit cards multiple times in Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan after the murder, but they were not caught.
Witnesses described the man using the credit card as being in his mid 20s to early 30s, white, 6’2″ with dark brown wavy hair. His companion was 5’10” and had light brown or blond hair. Police reported he may be Hungarian, and may be a freelance photographer. A composite drawing of the taller suspect and a $10,000 reward did not help police solve the crime.
“Some cases are more deserving of a higher reward,” Metro Police Chief Jack Ackroyd told the Toronto Globe and Mail, “It’s a decision we made, that’s all.”
Media at the time criticized police for offer $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of McBride’s killer, but a $25,000 reward for the killer of Toronto Argonauts cheerleader Jennifer Isford, found two months later. “Some cases are more deserving of a higher reward,” Metro Police Chief Jack Ackroyd told the Toronto Globe and Mail, “It’s a decision we made, that’s all.” Police often increase the amount of reward based on such things as if the victim were a child, if there was sexual assault, or if shocks the community and draws media attention.
McBride’s unsolved murder may have been one of the reasons why here was a big shakeup in the senior ranks of the homicide squad in August, 1982.
McBride’s car, a black 1979 Oldsmobile 98 with wire wheel covers, red interior and a sun roof, was found months later, on September 22, in Rochester, Minnesota. His killer or killers have not been found.
Murder Village Map
Name: Kevin Lionel McBride
Date of Death: May 17, 1982
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 5600 Sheppard Avenue East
Suspect Name: unknown