Former Alderman and accountant Douglas William Weir died on April 5, 1983. He was found naked in his bathtub with more than 40 injuries. A banana had been shoved in his mouth.
Weir, 50, was found by firefighters who had rushed to his apartment in response to a security staff person’s call: a fire alarm had been triggered by a pillow fire in his 20th floor apartment at 5 Massey Square. Weir’s roommate was out of the province at the time of the slaying, but later confirmed to police that items were stolen.
Weir was last seen alive that Tuesday at a bank and at some point had been in a Danforth Ave. bar alone. He was discovered at about 11 p.m. that night. Just two weeks previously, Graham Pearce had been found stabbed to death in his apartment.
A member of the Right to Privacy Committee, Dennis Findlay, said the short-term solution was for gay men to learn how to defend themselves, and the long term solution was for society to start accepting gays.
Within days of Weir’s death, community leader Peter Maloney, a lawyer, was warning other gay men to be careful of whom they meet in downtown gay bars. Gay activist George Hislop lent his voice to caution gay men. A member of the Right to Privacy Committee, Dennis Findlay, said the short-term solution was for gay men to learn how to defend themselves, and the long term solution was for society to start accepting gays.
On August 25, 1983, police announced they had arrested Richard Allen McKay, 23 and David John Kendall, 32, and charged them with first-degree murder. Both men were prostitutes.
During the trial, both men blamed each other for the murder. Pathologist John Hillsdon Smith said “I’ve never seen such a variety of injuries on one body before.” He had performed more than 5,000 autopsies. Injuries included stab wounds, cuts, scratches, bruises, scalding and “splitting of the skin.” Weir had more than four times the legal limit of blood alcohol for impaired driving and was called a “sitting duck” by psychologist and drug expert Howard Cappell. Prosecutor Glen Orr said “Mr. Weir didn’t have a chance… this falls into the very, very worst class of second –degree murder.”
Kendall and McKay had danced together at a Bay St. bar after the murder.
“Your conduct on the night in question is not human as far as I am concerned. I’ve never seen a person more cold-blooded than you are.”
During the trial, Kendall denied trying to hire Lawrence Clyde for $2,500 to kill his co-defendant McKay for setting him up for the murder. Justice Nick McRae severely criticized McKay during the sentencing phase of the trial. “Your conduct on the night in question is not human as far as I am concerned. I’ve never seen a person more cold-blooded than you are.” He said that without McKay, he doubted Kendall would have participated in the killing. McKay had previously been jailed for beating a woman over a nine-hour period, but the jury was not told of this information.
On Wednesday July 25, 1984, both men were found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without chance of parole for at least 10 years for the torture and murder of Weir.
On April 23, 1987, the Ontario Court of Appeal quashed the finding of second-degree murder against Kendall and allowed him a new trial. His conviction was appealed on the basis that information on McKay’s previous conviction was not heard at trial. McKay’s conviction was upheld.
Watt sentenced Kendall to eight years in prison for the “senseless, savage and sadistic slaughter” of Weir.
Kendall was freed on bail pending his trial, but in July 1987, fled with his 16-year-old niece after her mother put up the bail money. He was eventually caught and was tried a second time. Kendall pleaded guilty to perjury and failing to comply with a court order, for which he received a sentence of two years. He was also given six months for skipping bail. He was subsequently found guilty of manslaughter.
When asked if he had anything to say before sentencing, Kendall told Justice David Watt he acted alone when he killed Weir. Kendall said he became enraged when Weir kissed him on the ear because he hated being touched by men, and that as a born-again Christian he felt obliged to tell the truth (after being found guilty of a lesser charge, I might add). Watt sentenced Kendall to eight years in prison for the “senseless, savage and sadistic slaughter” of Weir.
Murder Village Map
Name: Douglas William Weir
Date of Death: April 5, 1983
Manner of Death: Stabbed, blunt force trauma
Location: 5 Massey Square
Suspect Name: Richard Allen McKay and David John Kendall
Conviction & Sentence: McKay was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 10 years. Kendall appealed his conviction and later was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in prison.