Samuel McClelland, a 51-year-old post office employee, was beaten to death in an east-end parking lot on Sunday June 15, 1969. He was found the next day lying between a parked car and a truck behind an automotive repair shop at about 410 Eastern Avenue. He was close to his Empire Avenue home, and had suffered severe head injuries, possibly from a pipe or club.
That evening, McClelland had attended a house party on Broadview Avenue, where he met his killer.
Twenty-two-year-old Lawrence Whiteley was arrested at home about 12 hours after the discovery of McClelland’s body, and he confessed to police while in the police car after his arrest. “I did it sir. I beat him. He made a pass at me.”
Whiteley was charged with non-capital murder and pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which the Crown accepted. He was sentenced to six years.
Murder Village Map
Name: Samuel McClelland Age: 51 Gender: Male Date of Death: June 15, 1969 Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma Location: 410 Eastern Avenue Suspect Name: Lawrence Whiteley Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, six years
The summer of ’67 was anything but love for seventeen-year-old Robert Wayne Mortimore of Glouster Street in the Gay Village. That was year he was murdered and his body dumped in a field northeast of Markham. He was found July 17, 1967.
Mortimore’s brother had reported him missing a week earlier. His naked body was found in a field three kilometres northeast of Markham. He had been stabbed. Identification was made through fingerprints they had recently obtained after a break and enter conviction against Mortimore.
Mortimore was last seen alive on July 7 in the Glouster Street rooming house he shared with his brother, Reginald. An autopsy did not immediately reveal his cause of death, but it “might well be a murder.” Police said they were aware “that Mortimore supplemented his earnings by homosexual activities.”
Mortimore was one of three young men who went missing from the areas in and around Toronto’s Gay Village, although it was not known as The Village in 1967. They all turned up dead in similar circumstances.
In August 1967, just 11 days after finding Mortimore’s body, James Henry Greenidge, later known as James Henry, was charged with capital murder. He was in a Barrie jail on the charge of the attempted murder of William Howell, 21. Henry was 28 at the time. It took Henry until January 28, 1968, to secure a legal aid lawyer.
Mortimore got into Henry’s car and was taken to a gravel road, where he asked for $20.
“He said it would cost me money and I sneered at him. He made a slice at me with a small penknife. I slapped him. I got out and started punching him. I grabbed the knife and poked him with it a couple of times. I didn’t take the kid out with the intention of doing him in. It was not premeditated,” Henry told the court.
On June 25, 1968, Henry, who was already serving 10 years for the attempted murder of Howell, was sentenced to a consecutive seven year sentence for manslaughter in the death of Mortimore after pleading guilty. The jury did not leave the jury box before rendering their acceptance of the plea of the lesser charge.
Murder Village Map
Name: Robert Wayne Mortimore Age: 17 Gender: Male Date of Death: July, 1967 Manner of Death: Stabbed, Blunt Force Trauma Location: near Markham Suspect Name: James Henry Greenidge, aka James Henry Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 7 years
In 1967, seventeen-year-old Richard “Dickey” James Hovey disappeared. In 1968, his remains were discovered. However, he remained unidentified for almost 40 years until the Ontario Provincial Police worked with coroner Kathy Gruspier and Constable Rachel Zuidervliet to create a model of his face from his skull. The Resolve Initiative did its job.
In 1966, Hovey had hitchhiked from his home in Fredericton, New Brunswick to arrive with his guitar in Yorkville, just outside the Village, where artists, bohemians and people of all sexualities joined together. He and his guitar, purchased from Sears, played gigs around the area, including the Mynah Bird Club at the corner of Yorkville and Hazelton. A year later he was struggling to survive and may have turned to prostitution for money.
Hovey was one of three young men who went missing from the areas in and around Toronto’s Gay Village, although it was not known as The Village in 1967. They all turned up dead in similar circumstances. Hovey was last seen being picked up by a “muscular black man” driving a white Corvair in the Bay and College Streets area.
Hovey’s decomposed remains were found in a hedgerow in a field on the 17th Sideroad of New Tecumseth, between the 2nd and 3rd Lines near Schomberg on May 15, 1968. He was naked and there was evidence that his hands had been bound with a shoelace.
The man believed to be responsible, although not tried, was James Henry Greenidge, aka James Henry. Henry, who appears to still be alive, is serving a life sentence, for murdering a prostitute, in Mountain Prison, in British Columbia.
Murder Village Map
Name: Richard James “Dickie” Hovey Age: 17 Gender: Male Date of Death: summer 1967 Manner of Death: undetermined Location: 17th Sideroad of New Tecumseth Suspect Name: James Henry Greenidge, aka James Henry
On June 25, 1967, thirty-year-old Gabriel Brunet, a bartender, was murdered in his 100 Maitland Street home after being stabbed 50 times. Although his screams resonated throughout the building, no one went to his aid or called police.
Brunet’s nude body was found by his roommate, Rene Cote, 34, about 45 minutes after the attack, which police determined was around midnight. His was the 5th slaying in Toronto in three weeks. Brunet’s cat, which witnessed the assault, was captured and taken to a local animal shelter.
A Toronto Star editorial, written June 27, 1967, said, “There is something appalling about such callous indifference to the torture and death of a fellow human being. It is also something relatively new… If this kind of indifference is the price of big city living it is too high a price – and indeed in the long run a fatal one. ”
Police reported the arrest of Dennis Henry Robertson, 23, on July 10. He was found in Calgary and was arrested by police there on another charge after walking into the police station to admit breaking into three homes. Calgary police thought he resembled the sketch issued by Toronto police, and they contacted their counterparts.
Toronto police interviewed Robertson. In his original police confession, Robertson said he asked Brunet for a bed, and then killed him “because he wouldn’t leave me alone.”
His trial for capital murder began on October 20, 1967, but the charge was reduced to non-capital murder by October 25. Robertson said that although he originally admitted killing Brunet to police, it was only because he was tired.
In court, Robertson admitted knowing Brunet and said he had been at the apartment on at least two previous occasions, but denied the murder, saying he was with a man and two women at the time of Brunet’s death.
On December 6, 1967, after nine hours of deliberation, the jury could not reach a verdict. The case was dismissed, and Robertson was tried again in February, 1968.
On February 10, 1968, Robertson was acquitted at his second trial because “he wasn’t cautioned properly by police before making a statement.” Mr. Justice Abraham Lieff of the Ontario Supreme Court directed the jury to acquit Robertson because Justice Lieff threw out the police confession, which formed the basis of the prosecution.
Justice Lieff did not blame the police for the way they took the statement, but said that, when Toronto homicide detectives arrived in Calgary to question him, they should have warned him to disregard his statements to Calgary police, and begin again.
As a result, Robertson was freed. Toronto Police consider the case closed.
Murder Village Map
Name: Gabriel Brunet Age: 30 Gender: Male Date of Death: June 25, 1967 Manner of Death: Stabbed Location: 100 Maitland St. Suspect Name: Dennis Henry Robertson Conviction & Sentence: Acquitted upon instruction of the Justice
The body of a young man was found by a passing motorist – who had spotted a partridge and got out of his car to hunt it – on December 17, 1967, in a wooded area near Balsam Lake Provincial Park, near Coboconk. The victim was wearing one white tennis show. He remained unidentified for 42 years, even though he had the unusual feature of an extra rib on the right side.
Decades after he was found, the Ontario Provincial Police created a model of his face from his skull. The model was featured on a W5 television special about unsolved crimes, and one of dead man’s sisters was watching. She called police the next morning. On March 9, 2009, police announced they identified the remains as Eric Jones, 18 at the time of his death.
Jones moved out on his own in May 1967 after moving to Toronto to live with an aunt. He was reported missing by his family, but was mistakenly taken off the missing persons list in the 1970s due to confusion over whether it was he or his brother named in the file.
Jones was one of three young men who went missing from the areas in and around Toronto’s Gay Village, although it was not known as The Village in 1967. They all turned up dead in similar circumstances.
When Jones was found there was no clothing present except white tennis shoes, size 7, made in Czechoslovakia, one of which Jones was wearing. An eleven-foot length of twine was found with the skeleton. This piece of twine had a knotted loop immediately adjacent to the hand and wrist bones.
Police immediately suspected James Henry Greenidge, aka James Henry. Henry, who appears to still be alive, is serving a life sentence, for murdering a prostitute, in Mountain Prison, in British Columbia. Henry is also considered the likely suspect in a similar murder in 1980 when he was out of prison. Although Henry has been questioned by police, the investigation into the murder of Eric Jones has not been closed and a reward of $50,000 remains outstanding.
Murder Village Map
Name: Eric Jones Age: 18 Gender: Male Date of Death: summer 1967 Manner of Death: undetermined Location: near Balsam Lake Provincial Park Suspect Name: James Henry Greenidge, aka James Henry Conviction and Sentence: not pursued by police
Bruno Max Seidel led a quiet, mysterious life and died a mysterious, unsolved death. Police were called to a rooming house at 103 Hamilton St., where they found Seidel with three stab wounds in his chest. They originally through the wounds were self-inflicted, until they found two more stab wounds in his back. Seidel, 57, was slain January 22, 1967. He was found the next day by another roomer.
The knife used had an eight-inch blade and was one and a half inches wide. However it was not found. Police conducted a search to find a young man seen running from the house the night before Seidel’s body was found. A $2,000 reward was offered.
Interpol reported he had two outstanding prosecutions in Germany when he left; both involved homosexuality.
On May 4, 1967, police charged Russell Bursey, 18, with three counts of fraud related to using Seidel’s identification to buy a car, try to write cheques and buy clothing. He was found driving Seidel’s car. He leaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 days.
Seidel’s murder remains outstanding.
Murder Village Map
Name: Bruno Max Seidel Age: 57 Gender: Male Date of Death: January 22, 1967 Manner of Death: Stabbed Location: 103 Hamilton St. Suspect Name: none
High-school teacher Francis Desjarlais, known to police for his “homosexual tendencies,” was found beaten to death on July 17, 1966 in a $4 room at Toronto’s Walsingham Hotel at 321 Jarvis St. The Walsingham was part of a notorious section of Jarvis St. that included murder, prostitution and theft in various low-rent hotels.
Less than a month later, the police were offering a $2,000 reward for the killer of Desjarlais, 42. Desjarlais, who lived in Windsor, Ontario, often visited Toronto. Police knew on July 15 he had gone to The Bay House on Bay Street some time between 9:30p.m. and 10p.m. Police said he frequented “tenderloin” bars.
Desjarlais was brutally beaten with a chair, and “part of his throat was gouged out with a broken liquor bottle.” A man had been seen leaving his room the night before his body was found.
August 25, 1966, police announced the arrest of two men. Karl H. Frankl, 23 was arrested at the Bay House at 572 Bay St., and John Collins, 33, who was arrested in Sault Ste. Marie. Frankl and Collins were both charged with capital murder. Both men pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of non-capital murder, and both were eligible for parole after seven years.
Murder Village Map
Name: Francis Desjarlais Age: 42 Gender: Male Date of Death: July 17, 1966 Manner of Death: Beaten and stabbed Location: 321 Jarvis St. Suspect Name: Karl H. Frankl and John Collins Conviction & Sentence: Non-capital murder and parole after 7 years
On January 9, 1965, thirty-five-year-old Aiden Francis MacDonald met up with William Alexander Mackie, 19, and Robert Michael Black, 18, and took a cab ride to his death.
MacDonald was known to frequent the BaBloor Hotel at 1163-1167 Bay Street, between Charles and Bloor Streets at the end of the day after his work as an insurance actuary was done. Drinking buddy William McKay said he met MacDonald at the BaBloor in 1963, and said MacDonald “showed no religious or racial prejudice in his conversations.”
McKay said he and MacDonald drank at least six glasses of beer on the night of January 8, and left his drinking partner at about 11:30 p.m. MacDonald had taken time out that evening to call his sister. MacDonald would meet Black and Mackie at the BaBloor, and continue drinking.
In the early morning of January 9, the three men went to the Black Creek bridge at Downsview Avenue, and began drinking whiskey.
When MacDonald’s body was found more than 1.5 km downstream, an identification card gave his address as Grandstand Place, Leaside. However, that was his sister’s address, and she was unsure of where he actually lived.
Black, who had a criminal record, and Mackie were arrested and charged with capital murder after the Crown alleged they had robbed MacDonald. Samples of MacDonald’s blood showed a blood alcohol level of .31%, and at that level a normal man would be very inebriated.
According to both men at their June 1965 trial, MacDonald somehow slipped into the water and out of reach of his drinking companions. Both young men also denied that they told several people they had picked up a gay man and “rolled him”, then pushed him into the creek. They had believed MacDonald carried between $300-$400, but he was found with $2.25 in his pockets.
During the trial, accused Robert Black described MacDonald as “a queer” to the all male jury, who had attempted to touch Mackie. Black said Mackie protested and pushed MacDonald away, and the man lost his footing and fell into the creek. Black said MacDonald sat in the water, then got up and walked away down stream.
On June 5, 1965, after a two week trial, Black and Mackie were found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death. The jury deliberated for just three hours. Both men were stunned and continued to proclaim their innocence. However, Justice William D. Parker did not disagree with the jury’s finding which made a strong recommendation for mercy. However, there was no leeway in the sentencing and the Justice had no choice but to pass the death sentence.
Murder Village Map
Name: Aiden Francis MacDonald Age: 35 Gender: Male Date of Death: January 9, 1965 Manner of Death: Drowning Location: Black Creek bridge Suspect Name: William Alexander Mackie and Robert Michael Black Conviction & Sentence: Capital murder, sentenced to death
On July 16, 1963, Ronald John Grigor, a 30-year-old bank account, met and was murdered by Glen John Seip, just 15 at the time. Grigor was found dead in his Shelborne Ave. apartment two days later by police.
Grigor had taken Seip home and was murdered for his “homosexual advances,” according to Seip’s defense, which made Seip “crazy with fear”. Seip was in court described as “an old hand at homosexuality”.
Grigor’s murderer then stole his convertible, some clothing and headed with two female and one male friend to Kitchener and Wasaga Beach for two days of fun in the sand. Grigor’s friends would later testify that “Seip paid for gasoline with credit cards and for food with money he said he got ‘from a queer.'”
On November 29, 1963, Seip was found not guilty of “capital” murder, instead being found guilty of non-capital murder, after striking Grigor with a 2-foot wrench, 20 times. It was reported that Seip cried when he was sentenced to life in prison.
A finding of guilty of capital murder would have meant the death penalty for Seip. On July 14, 1976, Canada eliminated the death penalty.
Murder Village Map
Name: Ronald John Grigor Age: 30 Gender: Male Date of Death: July 16, 1963 Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma Location: Shelborne Avenue Suspect Name: Glen John Seip Conviction & Sentence: Non-capital murder, life in prison
Alexander Bakalis was 40 years old when he met Joseph Normandin, 20, at the Ford Hotel’s cocktail lounge on May 3, 1960. They each drank seven or eight bottles of beer, according to waiter John Markovitch. Bakalis, a clothing salesman, was found May 4 stabbed to death in his basement apartment on Farnham Avenue. He had 10 knife wounds in his back from a butcher knife.
Normandin was arrested immediately and charged with murder. His trail was held September 20-21, 1960, where he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Normandin said in court he knew Bakalis was gay and had wanted money from him. A psychiatrist described Normandin as pathological, with a desire to kill but with counselling was not beyond saving.
During the trial, the victim was described as “a homosexual, a class of man whose victims were generally boys [young men]. Bakalis had “perverted many boys,” until meeting up with Normandin, said defence lawyer Garry Braund.
He was sentenced to life in prison. “The sentence must act as a deterrent to others and as a protection to the public. Everybody should know they can’t take the law into their own hands,” said Justice F. H. Barlow.
Murder Village Map
Name: Alexander Bakalis Age: 40 Gender: Male Date of Death: May 3, 1960 Manner of Death: Stabbed Location: Farnham Avenue Suspect Name: Joseph Normandin Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, life in prison with no chance of parole