What is a “Life Sentence” in Canada?

A homicide in Canada must include culpability to be considered murder. That means, the courts must believe the killer is deserving of blame. The fact that the courts must decide culpability, or blameworthiness, opens the legal charge of murder, to the influence of homophobia.

Currently, murder in Canada is split into first degree and second degree. First degree murder includes:
• contracted murder
• when the victim is a police officer, sheriff or other person associated with upholding the law
• where there is hijacking, sexual assault or kidnapping
• it involves criminal harassment, terrorist activity, organized crime, or intimidation
(https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/section-231.html)

All murder that is not first degree murder, is second degree murder.

Murder may be reduced to manslaughter if the person who committed the act did so in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation.

Again, homophobia in the courts can play a big role in reducing a murder charge to manslaughter. Until the decriminalization of homosexuality on June 27, 1969, being gay was often granted as a provocation, allowing a murder charge to be reduced. Now, it’s frequently used by defense, but less often is it accepted by the judge or jury.

An example of how complex the charges can be is highlighted in the trial of the 1977 murder of Neil Wilkinson . Wilkinson was beaten to death, and his killer , James Allan Walker, was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Walker offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but the Crown rejected the plea and the case went to trial. During the trial, Walker said Wilkinson had fantasies of pedophilia and he was therefore provoked to kill him. Walker was found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury.

Throughout the years, penalties for homicide have changed. However, it is important to note that no matter how many victims a convicted murderer might have, a murderer can only have one life sentence. For example, Bruce McArthur pleaded guilty to killing 8 men, but was given just one life sentence, not 8 life sentences.

From the excellent CBC news article “Here’s what judges will consider when sentencing McArthur and Bissonnette” :

“… A concurrent sentence means multiple sentences will be served at the same time. In general, this is the rule for multiple convictions stemming from the same event. But the judge does always have discretion.

Consecutive sentences are served one after the other. Sentences for crimes committed on different occasions can be ordered to be served consecutively. ..

In the Bruce McArthur murder case (http://murdervillage.com/tag/bruce-mcarthur/) — a sentence will be handed down Friday in Toronto — McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder. Each count carries a mandatory life sentence. A judge cannot sentence someone to more than one life sentence. So McArthur will receive one life sentence.

What the judge can decide is whether the periods of parole eligibility will also be concurrent or consecutive…

McArthur… will serve one life sentence no matter what. But the judge is scheduled to decide Friday whether to allow him to request parole in 25 years or add more periods of ineligibility…”

To read the full article, please visit the CBC

Police Consider Cold Cases in McArthur Murders

Alleged gay serial killer Bruce McArthur

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victims of a serial killer

Alleged Convicted gay Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur has, as of April 2018, been charged with the deaths of eight men, most of whom are gay/LGBT+. Sgt. Detective Hank Idsinga has said police are reviewing cold case murder files dating back to the 1970s where gay men were slain in the downtown core or after leaving gay bars.

Police are not specifically naming whose cases they are checking for fingerprints, DNA and other forensic evidence, but do say that with new technology, old evidence once deemed not useful may now yield results. Here are the names, in alphabetical order, of cold cases listed on Murder Village that the police may be considering. Some of the names below don’t meet the profile, and it’s possible that they are considering names of victims not listed here.

  1. David Buller, 2001: A visual studies university professor stabbed in his office, whose computerized bondage artwork was printed just before his murder
  2. Thomas Cahill, 1983: A high school art teacher stabbed in his home after meeting one or more people at a bar
  3. Larry Callahan, 2006: An older man on disability, he was beaten to death in his home
  4. Dennis Colby, 1995: A heavy drinker known for finding other gay men for sex on phone lines (before the internet and dating apps!) who was isolated and lonely
  5. Cassandra Do, 2003: A sex worker sexually assaulted and murdered in her bathtub. Police suspect a black man named “Victor” is responsible
  6. Fred Fontaine, 1975: Beaten to death in the bathroom of the St. Charles Tavern
  7. Bernard Guay, 1977: Killed in Allen Gardens during a mugging, police are looking for 3 suspects
  8. Richard Hovey, 1967 and Eric Jones, 1967: Slain teenagers whom police believe were killed by James Henry (Greenidge) but they never laid charges
  9. James Kennedy, 1976: Found beaten and strangled with a towel wrapped around his neck, last seen at the St. Charles Tavern
  10. Brian Latocki, 1977: An obvious possibility, he was tortured, stabbed and strangled in his bed
  11. Sandy LeBlanc, 1978: Owner of a popular gay bar, he was stabbed more than 100 times
  12. Ross Magill, 2008: Stabbed multiple times, police believe he let his attacker into his home
  13. Nirmal Sawle Ramnanan, 1982: Bound to a chair and stabbed multiple times, police said there were no signs of forced entry
  14. William Robinson, 1978: Found “horribly mutilated” in his home after meeting someone at the St. Charles Tavern
  15. Bruno Seidel, 1967: A quiet, mysterious man stabbed multiple times in his home
  16. James Taylor, 1976: Beaten to death in his home with a baseball bat, police say a pickup truck was seen outside his home at the time of the murder
  17. Harold Walkley, 1975: Walkely was last seen at the gay bar Quest, but reportedly left alone. He was found naked on his bed, stabbed to death

Toronto Gay Serial Killer Bruce McArthur

Alleged gay serial killer Bruce McArthur

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victims of a serial killer

Murder Village is not a newspaper, we don’t report on crimes as they happen. The discovery and arrest of gay, Toronto-based serial killer Bruce McArthur is being covered in depth in various media (you can search links on Google, Duck Duck Go and NewsLookUp, among many others). Our site is dedicated to presenting information in a respectful way, and providing accurate information. Rarely do you get the most accurate information about a crime until a trial.

Our posts are back-dated to allow visitors to view murders in the Gay Village chronologically. We have a Bruce McArthur tag already set up, and his two four six seven eight alleged victims listed

 

A Mother’s Heartbreak

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Tess Richey
Murder victim Tess Richey

Tess Richey, 25, was out celebrating on November 24, 2017, with friend Ryley Simard at Crews & Tangos, a Gay Village drag bar, although Richey is not LGBTQ+. They left the bar at approximately 1:30am, heading north toward Dundonald Street where they hung out with a friend of Richey’s on her front porch. With them was an unidentified man.

Just before 4am, Simard’s boyfriend texted her and asked when she would be coming home. Simard left Richey, who had ordered an Uber car, in their company and headed south to Carlton Street to take a TTC streetcar home. Simard would never see Richey alive again.

Although the family reported her missing to Toronto Police, it would be her mother and a friend, who travelled from North Bay to look for her, who would find Richey’s body just metres from where she was last seen. Tess Richey was found at the bottom of a small exterior stairwell on November 29, 2017.

Richey was seen in the company of an unknown male, and nearby business security cameras caught him on tape. Although Police have released his image, he has not been located.

Police originally considered her death accidental, but a December 1 autopsy revealed she had died of neck compression. Friends and family were heavily critical of the handling of the missing persons report by police.

The story garnered international attention. The community created a memorial near where her body was found, which acted not only as a place to express their condolences but also their fears about the neighbourhood.

On February 5, 2018, police announced the arrest of 21-year-old Kalen Schlatter. He was charged with second-degree murder in relation to the death of Richey. A trial is pending.

Below is a 24-minute YouTube video Tess Richey made in 2014.


Murder Village Map

 

 

 Vital statistics

Name: Tess Richey
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Date of Death: November 25, 2017
Manner of Death: Strangulation
Location: 582 Church Street
Suspect Name:  Kalen Schlatter
Conviction & Sentence: pending

Missing Then Murdered – Victim 7

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victims of a serial killer
Photos of murder victims Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faisi, Majeed “Hamid” Kayhan, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Kisowick, Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman

On April 14, 2017, Selim Esen, 44, disappeared in the area of Bloor St. East and Ted Rogers Way, on the outskirts of the Toronto Gay Village. His disappearance would be tied 10 weeks later to that of Andrew Kinsman. Selim Esen, who arrived from Turkey just a few years before his murder.

Police said both men were active on social media dating apps, and concern grew in the gay community of a serial killer.

On January 18, 2018, police announced they had made an arrest in Esen’s murder. Bruce McArthur, 66, of Toronto, was arrested on Thursday morning after uncovering new evidence on Wednesday. Police had been investigating McArthur for about two months, but only found enough evidence for an arrest recently.

He has been charged with eight counts of first-degree murder. Police have evidence there are other bodies.

Police have conducted extensive forensic searches and found the dismembered, skeletal remains of three unidentified people in planters at 53 Mallory Crescent, where an older couple allowed McArthur to keep some of his landscaping equipment. Police are using fingerprints, dental records and DNA analysis to identify the remains.

February 2019 Update: Bruce McArthur pleaded guilty to 8 counts of murder, for:

He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. Please see our post on What is a “Life Sentence” in Canada for an explanation on the complexity of murder sentences in Canada.


Murder Village Map

 

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Selim Esen
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Date of Death: April 14, 2017 (estimate)
Manner of Death: unknown at this time
Location: unknown at this time
Suspect Name: Bruce McArthur
Conviction & Sentence: Life in prison, with no chance of parole for 25 years

Victim was Sri Lankan Refugee – Victim 5

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victims of a serial killer
Photos of murder victims Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faisi, Majeed “Hamid” Kayhan, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Kisowick, Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman

Toronto police had a photograph of a dead man’s face, and parts of his body, before they had his name. Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur, who is already facing seven counts of first-degree murder, is rumoured to have taken photographs of his victims in various poses up to and including the “death pose”. Parts of the man were found in planters, along with body parts of other victims, at 53 Mallory Crescent where McArthur, a landscaper, was storing equipment.

On March 5, and again on April 9, 2018 police released a “cleaned up” version of one of the dead men’s faces, in the hopes that someone in the community could identify him.

LGBTQ community leader Nicki Ward assisted police by using her graphic design skills and Photoshop to create a photograph that was more realistic and “alive”, based on the one police had issued, in the hopes that it would assist in the dead man’s identification.

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam

On April 12, police announced they had confirmed the mystery man’s identity with the help of an unnamed international agency. Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, 37, had never been reported as missing by his Sri Lankan family because as a refugee claimant, his family thought he had purposefully disappeared when his refugee claim was denied. Kanagaratnam was one allegedly of many of McArthur’s victims who are of South Asian and Middle Eastern descent, and are from vulnerable communities.

Kanagaratnam was one of almost 500 Sri Lankan asylum seekers on the MV Sun Sea who in 2010 claimed refugee status in Canada based on the ongoing fight between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil fighters called the Tamil Tigers, a terrorist group. However, many of the men who came to British Columbia via cargo ship were suspected of being terrorists, and detained. Everyone including Kanagaratnam was detained while their identifications were verified. A poll at the time indicated about 60% of Canadians wanted the refugees sent back to Sri Lanka.

Kanagaratnam stopped contacting his family in late August 2015, and police believe it was between September 3 and December 14, 2015 that McArthur killed Kanagaratnam. His family never reported him missing to either Sri Lankan or Toronto authorities for fear it would result in his deportation, however they did use Facebook to try to reach out to him.

Unlike McArthur’s other victims, as of April 2018, police have no direct link from Kanagaratnam to the Gay Village and is not known at this time to be LGBT+. Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga, who is overseeing the McArthur investigation, raised concerns that Kanagaratnam does not fit the profile currently known about the victims. “This does create basically a wide open net,” he said.

The National Post newspaper reported on April 16 that, “according to source close to the investigation, [McArthur]changed his pattern when it came to targeting potential victims after being interviewed as a witness in the disappearance of Skandaraj Navaratnam… [and he] began to target men whom he had no links to and who fewer people would notice missing.”

However, the Toronto Star reported on April 20 that “Some members of the Tamil community say he may have been living on the streets surrounding the Church and Wellesley community. There is also speculation that Kanagaratnam could have encountered McArthur through one of his odd jobs, possibly a landscaping gig.”

Information regarding the relationship of Kanagaratnam and McArthur will be sorted out as the trial continues.

February 2019 Update: Bruce McArthur pleaded guilty to 8 counts of murder, for:

He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. Please see our post on What is a “Life Sentence” in Canada for an explanation on the complexity of murder sentences in Canada.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Date of Death: Between Sep 3 and Dec 14, 2015
Manner of Death: unknown
Location: unknown
Suspect Name: Bruce McArthur
Conviction & Sentence: Life in prison, with no chance of parole for 25 years

Slashed and Stabbed

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Brent Gartner
Murder victim Brent Gartner

At 6:34 p.m. on January 10, 2015, paramedics arrived at 330 Jarvis St. to find Brent Gartner, 51, lying outside his apartment, bleeding. He was taken to St. Mike’s Hospital vital signs absent, and did not recover. He was the first homicide of the year.

A resident of building notified building security when a visiting friend told him “there was a pool of blood in the elevator.”

Despite initial “first responder” reports of a samurai sword being involved, police denied a sword was involved, although Gartner was stabbed multiple times and had serious slash wounds.

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Brent Gartner

Roderick McIntosh, 67, had been found by police nearby with injuries. Charges against McIntosh at first were delayed due to the seriousness of his own injuries, and were laid only once he was well enough to understand the charge.

He was taken to hospital, and just three days later, Toronto police charged him with the second-degree murder of Gartner. Police said the two men knew each other.

[I can’t locate any further information about what happened with the case].

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Brent Gartner
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Date of Death: January 10, 2015
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 330 Jarvis St.
Suspect Name: Roderick McIntosh
Conviction & Sentence: unknown

Accusations of Murder for Hire

Black and white photo of murder victim Allan Lanteigne
Murder victim Allan Lanteigne and his dog

The body of Allan Lanteigne, 49, was found still dressed in his coat, face down in the front foyer of his home on March 3, 2011 just before 3:30p.m. He had been beaten to death.

Lanteigne was a caterer and an accounting clerk at the University of Toronto and, when he did not show up for work, a friend went to his home at 934 Ossington Avenue and, upon finding the body, called police. There were no signs of forced entry.

Lanteigne was married to but separated from Demitry Papasitiriou, 32. Police confirmed Papasitiriou, was in Switzerland studying for his doctorate in law at the time of Lanteigne’s death.

On November 2, 2012, police arrested Papasitiriou and charged him with first-degree murder. A warrant was issued for “business associate” Mladen “Michael” Ivezic, 52, for first-degree murder. The murder was labelled by police as a “domestic homicide.” Police would later say he and Papasitiriou were lovers and planned the murder together.

Mladen "Michael" Ivezic and Demitry Papasitiriou
Mladen “Michael” Ivezic (l) and Demitry Papasitiriou (r)

Prior to their arrests but after Laneigne’s death, Papasitiriou and Ivezic launched proceedings to collect on Lanteigne’s $2million life insurance policy, the money in his estate, funds from the sale of the house Papasitiriou owned (Lanteigne was not an owner) and to seek other financial gain from Lanteigne’s death. Before collecting, Papasitiriou was arrested.

The house on Ossington sold for $900,000, but Papasitiriou was in jail. Superior Court Justice Susan Greer ordered Papasitiriou’s portion of the proceeds frozen pending a future ruling, while his aunt and uncle, who co-owned the house, got their portions.

Following a three-week preliminary trial for both accused, on September 10, 2014, Ontario Court Justice Shaun Nakatsuru threw out all charges against Papasitiriou, stating “the evidence cannot reasonably support a finding of guilt.”

Black and white photo of murder victim Allan Lanteigne

However, the Crown sought to overturn the rare decision to dismiss charges of murder against Papasitiriou in October, 2014, by suggesting Justice Nakatsuru exceeded his authority by failing to consider the evidence as a whole. However, Ontario’s Attorney General issued a “preferred indictment”, and ordered the charges against Papasitiriou reinstated. He was re-arrested on October 29.

Six years after Lanteigne’s murder, the case had yet to go to trial. During this time, Ivezic was in jail awaiting trial and Papasitiriou, who by 2017 was referred to by media as Papasitiriou-Lanteigne, was out on bail. They went to trial on November 27, 2017.

The Crown presented evidence of an affair between Papasitiriou and Ivezic in the form of sexually charged emails, alleging the affair started in 2009.

Allan Lanteigne and friends
Allan Lanteigne and friends

Just a month after the trial started, Ivezic fired his well-known defense lawyer, Marcy Segal, and chose to represent himself. He requested the right to cross-examine a police witness regarding Lanteigne’s lifestyle, alleging his fetish for diaper porn and promiscuous sex life put him at risk of murder by someone else.

During the trial, Ivezic had his jailhouse computer and internet privileges cancelled after it was discovered he was looking at porn sites and had a Facebook account. Although he had been using the computer to prepare his case, he was also contacting journalists about his theories of police wrongdoing and how his DNA had been planted.

Papasitiriou did not testify, even though prosecutors said Lanteigne was lured to his home through emails from Papasotiriou, including this critical one at 8 a.m.: “Hi Allan, Just call me when you get home. There is a 7-hour time difference, so please don’t call me 7 in the evening your time as it will be 2 a.m. here… don’t dilly dally on your way home buying shoes and shirts and crystal balls.”

Prosecutors had convinced the jury that Papasotiriou-Lanteigne, while in Greece, orchestrated the murder by having Ivezic lie in wait until Lanteigne arrived home from his University of Toronto accounting job on March 2, 2011.

On June 7, 2018, Demitry Papasotiriou-Lanteigne, now 38, and his lover, Michael Ivezic, now 57, were found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Allan Lanteigne
Age: 49
Gender: Male
Date of Death: March 2, 2011
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: 934 Ossington Avenue
Suspect Name: Demitry Papasitiriou (Papasitiriou-Lanteigne) and Mladen “Michael” Ivezic
Conviction & Sentence: first-degree murder, life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years

Wife Reported Him Missing – Victim 2

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victims of a serial killer
Photos of murder victims Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faisi, Majeed “Hamid” Kayhan, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Kisowick, Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman

On December 29, 2010, Abdulbasir Faizi, 42, disappeared. On April 11, 2018, Toronto police announced they charged alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur with his murder.

Faizi was a married immigrant from Afghanistan, with a wife and two daughters. He was last seen leaving his work at a Mississauga printing company around 7 p.m. on the evening of December 28, 2010. He was driving his 2002 Nissan Sentra. He was last seen in the area of Church and Wellesley Streets, in the heart of the Village, that evening. His wife reported Faizi missing to Peel police (who oversee the city of Mississauga) the next day.

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Abdulbasir Faizi

Police informed Faizi’s wife, Kareema Faizi, about his double life and numerous affairs with men, and she filed divorce papers against him. Ms. Faizi wrote in the divorce papers that she visited the Gay Village a number of times in an attempt to locate him, but police had suggested he had abandoned his family and did not want to be found.

It wasn’t until McArthur was arrested and his apartment and work locations searched that police were able to confirm that Faizi was a victim of homicide. Subsequent to McArthur’s arrest, police have been heavily criticized for failing to connect the murders to McArthur sooner than they had. The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention sent an open letter to police in January 2018 calling for a review of the police resources put into the search for these racialized men.

Toronto police said they believe Faizi was killed “on or about” December 29, 2010. His car was found seven days later on Moore Avenue, just a short drive from St. Claire Avenue and Mount Pleasant Road where McArthur worked as a landscaper. His body or a portion thereof was located in planters with other men’s body parts, and was identified in April 2018. He was identified using DNA.

Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga, who is heading up the current investigation into allegations involving McArthur, said police believe Faizi and McArthur knew each other prior to Faizi’s disappearance.

Police are continuing their search, hoping to investigate a further 75 properties associated with McArthur where remains may be found. They are waiting for the ground to thaw before bringing in cadaver dogs and digging equipment. Police are also looking into numerous unsolved murder cases of gay men in the 1970s, which are documented here on Murder Village.

February 2019 Update: Bruce McArthur pleaded guilty to 8 counts of murder, for:

He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. Please see our post on What is a “Life Sentence” in Canada for an explanation on the complexity of murder sentences in Canada.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Abdulbasir Faizi
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Date of Death: December 29, 2010 (estimate)
Manner of Death: unknown at this time
Location: unknown at this time
Suspect Name: Bruce McArthur
Conviction & Sentence: Life in prison, with no chance of parole for 25 years

SUV Was Murder Weapon

Black and white photo of murder victim Christopher Skinner
Murder victim Christopher Skinner

Christopher John Andrew Skinner was 27 when he was purposefully struck and killed by an SUV on October 28, 2009. He was killed in Toronto’s Entertainment District at Adelaide St. East and Victoria Street and police immediately began searching for CCTV and security video footage from businesses in the area.

He was engaged and planning to go to law school. In the early morning hours, Skinner got into an argument with a group of men when they knocked him to the ground, got into their black SUV, and ran over him with both the front and rear wheels. Homicide detective Stacy Gallant said “I’ve never seen one quite like this in my tenure at the homicide squad… It’s a very cowardly act.” Police released video footage of the SUV suspected of being the weapon of death.

Black and white photo of murder victim Christopher Skinner
murder victim Christopher Skinner

Skinner had been trying to hail a cab and, at some point, asked the SUV driver for a ride. When he refused, Skinner hit the vehicle window. Four years would pass before an arrest was made. None of the people in the vehicle came forward with information until 2013, when a Vancouver woman, an ex-girlfriend, called in a tip.

Police wire-tapped the suspect for 35 days and was heard planning to destroy cellphone records, how to avoid prosecution, and intimidating others in the car.

Agustin Caruso, 23 but 19 at the time of the murder, was arrested on November 6, 2013 and charged with second-degree murder. Caruso was the driver of the SUV carrying four men and two women inside when they ran over Skinner.

Agustin Caruso by Alex Tavshunsky for CBC
Agustin Caruso by Alex Tavshunsky for CBC

Det. Gallant said Skinner was killed because of the minor interaction of his touching the vehicle, not because he was gay. Police announced on November 15, 2013, they had also arrested Anthony Samuel, 24, who was charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offense of aggravated assault and obstructing police; Nicholas Swaby, 23, who was charged with assault causing bodily harm; and Jamaal Phillips Bond, 23, who was charged with assault causing bodily harm and obstructing police.

Jamaal Bond, left, and Nicholas Swaby by Alex Tavshunsky for CBC
Jamaal Bond, left, and Nicholas Swaby by Alex Tavshunsky for CBC

Caruso was drunk and high on cocaine at the time of the murder, and said he did not intend to run over Skinner. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to eight and a half years.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Christopher John Andrew Skinner
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Date of Death: October 28, 2009
Manner of Death: Vehicular
Location: Adelaide St E & Victoria St
Suspect Name: Agustin Caruso
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, sentenced to eight and a half years

Attack Was Personal

Black and white photo of murder victim Ross Magill
Murder victim Ross Magill

On Monday July 14, 2008, sixty-four-year-old William Ross Magill was pronounced dead at his home on 40 Delisle Avenue. He had been stabbed.

Magill, how usually went by Ross Magill, had been a gifted interior designer prior to his three-year descent into sex and drugs and alcohol. Friends said he had begun to bring home younger men, and after allowing two of them come into his midtown apartment, he was murdered.

Friends said Magill was HIV-positive, and returned from the U.S. to Canada to benefit from the Canadian, rather than American, health care system. A break-up in 2005 with a Vancouver man sent Magill into a downward spiral. He fell out of contact with friends and family, and those who stayed in touch were unable to help him with his addictions.

Black and white photo of murder victim Ross Magill

On the evening of July 14, Magill’s 23-year-old boyfriend, whom he had been dating for three months, was in the shower when two men knocked on his door. Magill let his murderers into his home. Magill’s partner heard a commotion and found Magill stabbed multiple times. He called police, but was unable to give a description of the men he saw fleeing. The police ruled him out as a suspect after interviews.

Police believe he knew at least one of his assailants, making police believe this was a targeted attack. Cocaine was found in his home. One neighbour heard three screams and a door slam.
No arrest has been made, the case remains open.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: William Ross Magill
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July 14, 2008
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 40 Delisle Avenue
Suspect Name: none

Money Was The Motive

Black and white photo of murder victim Harley Walker
Murder victim Harley Walker

Seventy-two-year-old Harley Walker was born in Manchester England and immigrated to Toronto in 1958 where he found employment with the CBC for 30 years. He went missing on October 13, 2006, after meeting a man, David Reid, on an internet gay chat room.

The two men exchanged messages, and met for coffee for several months. It was during this time Reid discovered Walker had a large investment portfolio.

Police suspected Walker’s murder was a kidnapping/extortion scheme gone wrong, as Walker’s bank account had been emptied and his Cabbagetown home should signs of violence. When they asked Reid to come in for questioning, he fled.

David Kenton Reid, 46, was arrested by OPP officers near Meaford, Ontario, a week after he had crashed his car and fled on foot. He broke into a nearby cottage and hid from police. Reid was an unemployed investment banker, married with a 10-year-old son, and was in significant financial trouble. When Reid was arrested, police had not yet found Walker’s body. However, police discovered Walker’s personal papers and identification in the wrecked car, along with evidence that his bank account had been tampered with.

Photograph of murderer David Reid
Murderer David Reid

Reid did not cooperate with investigators until after consulting with a lawyer. He then told police where he had buried Walker’s body. Walker was found by police on May 5, 2007, seven months after he went missing.

During the trial, Reid admitted stabbing Walker with a large kitchen knife in Walker’s home and burying his body near a camp on Monck Road, near the town of Norland, Ontario.

Reid was initially charged with first-degree murder but was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Reid had asked Walker for money, and when he was refused, he killed Walker.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital statistics

Name: Harley Walker
Age: 72
Gender: Male
Date of Death: October 13, 2006
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 22 Sackville Place
Suspect Name:  David Kenton Reid
Conviction & Sentence: Second degree murder with life in prison, no chance of parole for 17 years

Hard Knock Life

Black and white photo of murder victim Lawrence Callahan
Murder victim Lawrence Callahan

Lawrence “Larry” Roosevelt Callahan was born in Botwood Newfoundland on July 13. 1941. He died at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto on June 10, 2006, after being savagely beaten in his home. It took more than a month for the police homicide unit to be called in to investigate his death.

Callahan, 64, was found unconscious in his apartment at 45 Strathmore Blvd. on June 2 with “obvious signs of trauma” and was taken to hospital. The autopsy could not immediately determine the cause of death, and until it was declared that he had died of blunt-impact head wounds, his death was not classified as a homicide.

Although many neighbours came forward with information about Callahan’s activities, his death remains a cold case.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Lawrence “Larry” Roosevelt Callahan
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Date of Death: June 10, 2006
Manner of Death: Blunt force trauma
Location: 45 Strathmore Blvd.
Suspect Name: none

Acquitted in 4 Hours

Black and white photo of murder victim Janko Naglic
Murder victim Janko Naglic

Although it took the jury less than four hours to acquit Ivan Mendez-Romero of killing his lover Janko Naglic, and no other person has ever been charged, Toronto police consider Naglic’s murder to be “case closed.”

Naglic, 58, was murdered on October 27, 2004 and found in his home on Balliol Street. Naglic was renowned in the Gay Village, not only for his outspoken personality and for his leather and denim bar, The Barn/Stables at 418 Church Street, but for his AIDS fundraising and community work. The Barn had just celebrated its 29th anniversary before Naglic was murdered.

The Barn and Stables gay bar on Church Street
The Barn and Stables gay bar on Church Street

Naglic and Mendez-Romero, 36, were well-known and liked in their neighbourhood, allowing neighbours to use their pool. A neighbouring bar owner, George Pratt, said Naglic was “a lone wolf” who gave back to the community by sponsoring Pride Week events and donating to AIDS organizations.

Naglic, who died of asphyxiation as a result of duct tape around his nose and mouth, was found dead by Mendez-Romero who called 911. Police found a glass back door was partially ajar but there was no sign of forced entry Nothing in the house was disturbed or out of place. Mr. Naglic had $800.00 in his pocket. None of the valuables in the house were taken or disturbed and there was no sign of a struggle.

Black and white photo of Ivan Mendez-Romero
Ivan Mendez-Romero

On August 27, 2005, police announced they had arrested Mendez-Romero for the murder in a “high-risk takedown”, although Toronto homicide Det. Wayne Banks later described the arrest as “without incident.” Mendez-Romero rejected a plea offer of manslaughter. “I told them, I’m not guilty. I’ll go to jail for 25 years and keep fighting for my innocence,” Mendez-Romero said. He claims to have been with his wife on the night of the murder.

Mendez-Romero reportedly dissolved his first marriage, which Naglic knew about, after three years and married a second woman, which Naglic found out later about and eventually tolerated. As a result, Mendez-Romero said he did not see a lot of Naglic for about a year before the murder. Mendez-Romero and his wife divorced during the 30 month he was in custody.

Black and white photo of murder victim Janko Naglic
murder victim Janko Naglic

During the trial, many people testified that Naglic told them Mendez-Romero had twice threatened to kill him, and it would later be called “trial by gossip and circumstance” in the press. The defence called no witnesses, and on March 4, 2008, the jury acquitted Mendez-Romero in just four hours.

Mendez-Romero later sued Naglic’s estate and Toronto police.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Janko Naglic
Age: 58
Gender: Male
Date of Death: October 27, 2004
Manner of Death: Asphyxiation
Location: 585 Balliol Street
Suspect Name: Ivan Mendez-Romero
Conviction & Sentence: Acquitted

Sex Worker Strangled

Black and white photo of murder victim Cassandra Do
Murder victim Cassandra Do

On August 25, 2003, Cassandro Do, 32, was found in her bathtub sexually assaulted and murdered in her 60 Glouster Street apartment by police who were responding to a call. An autopsy showed she was manually strangled. She had been scheduled to meet a client that day.

Do, a preoperative transsexual who had once worked as a nurse, was saving money for her operation, and working as a prostitute in the Gay Village. Do, who also went by the name Tula, solicited clients on her website and ads in the back of weekly Toronto newspapers.

Do’s death occurred within days of two other women’s deaths, prompting concerns from citizens and the media. Police said there was no connection, and had not at that time confirmed how one woman, a drug addict found in Parkdale, had died.

Black and white photo of murder victim Cassandra Do

On October 4, 2003, police issued a description of the suspect in Do’s killing: a black, muscular man, aged 30 to 40, 6′ 5″, about 230 pounds, wearing wire-rimmed glasses. He went by the name “Victor”. They warned all sex trade workers to be extra vigilant. DNA tests linked the assailant to the sexual assault of a prostitute in 1997, and that is where police drew their description of Do’s murderer from.

After the suspect description was released, four prostitutes contacted police to say they were beaten and sexually assaulted by a man who fit the description. On October 15, police reported the murder of another prostitute. She was from Vietnam, although her escort ads said she was from China. Do may have been the victim of a serial killer.

Police have not yet solved Do’s murder.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Cassandra “Tula” Do
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Date of Death: August 25, 2003
Manner of Death: Strangulation
Location: 60 Glouster Street
Suspect Name: Victor