Dominating In Death

D
(Last Updated On: January 26, 2018)

On December 8, 1992, Grayce Baxter went missing. It was weeks before her friends reported her missing. Baxter was a transsexual high-priced call-girl who, according to her friend “Mary”, was also a former crack-cocaine addict.

Baxter was very cautious. She always valet-parked her car when she arrived at her condo and secured her alarm when she got inside. She carried a stun gun and a can of mace to all her calls.

“I noticed she was missing before anyone else did,” her condo concierge recalls. “I hadn’t seen her in a while and thought it was strange. Then her friends came by and were worried that they hadn’t seen her.”

“I noticed she was missing before anyone else did,” her condo concierge recalls. “I hadn’t seen her in a while and thought it was strange. Then her friends came by and were worried that they hadn’t seen her.”

Baxter, (26 or 28 years of age), who transitioned in 1985, disappeared with her 1989 black BMW. The car was found two days later in the parking lot of Gerrard Square, a shopping mall at Gerrard St. and Pape Avenue. Police say she was last seen by a friend in Mississauga, where she got a 3am call from an escort agency she worked for. She drove off in her BMW.

Baxter stood 6-foot tall and weighed 160 pounds, and her clientele was mostly submissive wealthy married businessmen. “She’s a dominatrix. She’s into heavier stuff than I am. I’m just into regular work. She had called me several times to go with her (on appointments). I refused,” Mary told the press.

When advised their daughter was missing, Baxter’s parents flew to Toronto to aid in her search.

By the end of the year, police had her client list, rumoured to be a very large list of names, and were requesting through the press that they voluntarily contact police to avoid embarrassment. “If they don’t come to us, we’ll have to seek them out and that could be embarrassing in some cases,” Detective Jim McDermott said. By December 31, police suspected foul play.

Baxter lived a wealthy lifestyle with a waterfront condominium at 10 Yonge St., and was known to host lavish parties. Grayce, born with the name Grant, also went by the street name Candice. She charged $350-$400 an hour and worked at two agencies. Normally, a client would go through the agency where they can be vetted. This did not appear to be the case on December 8.

Police got a break in the case through a cellular telephone record linking the killer directly to Baxter. On January 7, 1993, police approached Patrick Daniel Johnson, 23, of 55 Wynford Heights Crescent with the telephone record. The next day they met Johnson for the polygraph test.

“You might as well take me right now. You know I did it. It’s been a living hell for a month… It was an accident. It just went too far.”

When police went to the home of the suspect to give him a lie-detector test and they found him with self-inflicted wounds.

On January 9, police announced they had arrested Wynford for first-degree murder. Her body was not found at the time of the arrest. Johnson was a former client of Baxter’s, and a part-time prison guard at the Don Jail in Toronto, although police did not know that until the time of his arrest. During his trial, it was reported that he told police, “You might as well take me right now. You know I did it. It’s been a living hell for a month… It was an accident. It just went too far.”

He had called her to his apartment after agreeing to pay her $200 for 45 minutes of sex. A fight ensued because Johnson was having difficulty coming to orgasm but his time was up He strangled her. He cut up her body, dumped her in the garbage dumpster, and, 11 days later, pawned a diamond ring and Rolex watch.

A man had told detectives his friend had information about the killing and a letter sent to the Toronto Sun newspaper. A handwritten, six page letter arrived in the newsroom on January 11, 1993, mailed before but received after, the murderer’s arrest.

Contained in the envelope was a Ministry of Corrections identification card bearing a man’s photo and signed “Dan Johnson”. In the letter, the killer said he never knew Baxter was a transsexual, and he boasted about having sex with his girlfriend 14 times over three days.

Ten days later, police began the gruesome task of using bulldozers and garden hoes to dig through a Pickering garbage dump for Baxter’s body. They estimated it could take a month to find her, as they believed her body had been dumped into a garbage bin behind a North York apartment building, which had then been transferred to the Bermondsey transfer station, then dumped in the Brock West Landfill Site. A log book on site allowed the eight police officers including the homicide officers, and two equipment operators to narrow their search area to a patch the size of a football field.

“The [Parole] Board is particularly concerned with your tendency to return to the use of sex trade workers, your continuing lack of honesty about this behaviour and minimization of your behaviour during your hearing”

On March 17, 1993, police announced they called off the search for Baxter’s body. Baxter had been dismembered prior to being dumped. They had sifted through millions of kilograms of garbage in their fruitless search.

On April 18, 1994, almost a year and a half after Grayce Baxter went missing, Johnson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder just before his trial started. He was sentenced to life in jail with no eligibility for parole for 10 years.

After just nine years in a B.C. prison, Johnson was granted day parole on condition he stay away from sex workers. He quickly violated his parole and was back in jail. Johnson got parole again in 2004 but again violated parole by visiting sex workers. He finally earned full parole, but again was caught visiting sex workers and re-arrested. He was then released a year later.

“The [Parole] Board is particularly concerned with your tendency to return to the use of sex trade workers, your continuing lack of honesty about this behaviour and minimization of your behaviour during your hearing… You have difficulty controlling your anger.” they said in their May decision.

But Johnson’s psychological assessment that found he was at a “moderate-low risk for violent and general offending and a low risk for sex offending”, that he had taken responsibility for going into a rage and murdering Baxter, and that he had found “Aboriginal spirituality”.

The panel has released Johnson on day parole to a halfway house for a fourth chance at freedom. He was to have one-on-one counselling and not to access Internet porn nor contact prostitutes.

Grayce Baxter has never been found.


Murder Village Map

 


Vital Statistics

Name: Grayce Baxter
Age: 26-28
Gender: Female
Date of Death: December 8, 1992
Manner of Death: Strangled
Location: 55 Wynford Heights Crescent
Suspect Name: Patrick Daniel Johnson
Conviction & Sentence: Life with no eligibility for parole for 10 years

About the author

Sawyer Cowley

Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts

Categories

Tag Cloud