Stories of Murder in Toronto's Gay Village

Murder Timeline

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  • Photo of victim unavailable

    Kew Beach Cruelty

    Leslie William Gordon (Jack) Hern was a 36-year-old waiter who worked as a steward on CN trains in the “flashy railway dining car”. On the night of July 27, 1949, Hern met Harvey Southerby, who called himself Louis Martinello when they met. He also called himself Martinello when he was arrested and charged with Hern’s […]

    1949
  • Murder victim Fred "Scotty" Cameron

    From Toronto To Stroud

    On October 29, 1953, when the body of a man was found in a field riddled with bullet holes and without identification, and before advanced forensics, it was the laundry marks on a shirt that helped police find the name of their victim. Fred “Scotty” Cameron was a messenger for a Toronto investment brokerage firm […]

    1953
  • Murder victim Cecil Fred Burns

    Chef Killed With Whiskey Bottle

    In 1957, when 43-year-old Cecil Burns lived at the Edwin Hotel at 650 Queen Street East, it was a little seedy and rundown, with a nightclub on the first floor and a rough clientele. Burns, a professional chef, had the misfortune of meeting Wayne Ronald Mullen, 20, and inviting him back to his hotel room […]

    1957
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    From Ford to Farnham

    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 […]

    1960
  • Murder Then The Beach

    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 […]

    1963
  • Photo of murder victim Aiden Macdonald

    Cab Ride To Death

    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 […]

    1965
  • Photo of murder victim Francis Dejarlais

    Wayward in the Walsingham

    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 […]

    1966
  • Photo of murder victim Bruno Seidel

    Mysterious Life, Mysterious Death

    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, […]

    1967
  • Photo of murder victim Eric Jones

    Identified 42 Years Later

    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 […]

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    Outrageous Acquittal

    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, […]

  • Photo of murder victim Richard Hovey

    Slain at Seventeen

    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 […]

  • Photo of murder victim Robert Mortimore

    Murdered in Markham

    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 […]

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    Homophobic Hatred

    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 […]

    1969
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    Decriminalization of Homosexuality

    On June 27, 1969, the federal government enacted the Criminal Law Amendment Act (also known as Bill C-150) which decriminalized homosexuality, meaning you could no longer be arrested and jailed for being queer in Canada.

  • Photo of murder victim Harold Walkley

    Trouble On Borden

    Part-time University of Toronto lecturer Harold Walkley, 51, was attacked in his Borden St. apartment. He was found nude, stabbed four times in the back and once in the chest. It was February 18, 1975. His murder will go unsolved, but his death was one of many that set off a wave of fear in […]

    1975
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    St. Charles Blunt Force Trauma

    Fred John Fontaine, 32, was severely beaten in the washroom of the popular St. Charles Tavern at 484-488 Yonge Street on December 20, 1975. He was discovered at 8:50pm, and 911 was called. He died at Toronto General Hospital from his injuries on July 15, 1976. He was 33 when he died. His killer has […]

  • Photo of murder victim James Taylor

    Unsolved Baseball Bat Murder

    James Douglas Taylor, a 41-year-old house painter, was killed in his home on February 11, 1976. He was killed by a baseball bat. Taylor was found at 147 Elmhurst Avenue [based on the map provided by Toronto Police] after police responded to a 911 call. A pick-up truck was seen at his house just before […]

    1976
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    Death Penalty abolished

    In Canada, until 1961, all “murder” convictions resulted in the sentence of execution. Murder was then divided into non-capital and capital murder, but still included the death penalty. On July 26, 1976, Canada formally abolished the death penalty from the Criminal Code, when the House of Commons narrowly passed Bill C-84.

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    Rage At Rejection

    Carmen Noel Allgrove, 40, had left his hometown of London, Ontario and recently began living in Toronto, but had no fixed address. He was an alcoholic who had been kicked out of a home for men with drinking problems. On August 29, 1976, Allgrove met Joseph Patrick Donoghue, 28, in a church park, hoping for […]

  • Photo of murder victim James Kennedy as a young man

    Last Seen at St. Charles Tavern

    On the morning of Monday September 20, 1976, police responded to a 911 call and found the body of James Stewart Kennedy. He had been beaten to death. Kennedy, 59, lived at 262 Jarvis St., and worked at the Department of National Revenue. He was found beaten and strangled. A towel had been knotted around […]

  • Photo of murder victim Brian Latocki

    Tied and Tortured

    Brian Dana Latocki was 24 years old when he was murdered. On January 25, 1977, a still-unknown assailant stabbed Latocki in his home at 141 Erskine Avenue. Police said he was believed to be the “victim of a homosexual assault” after his nude body was found tied to his bed. He had been tortured, stabbed […]

    1977
  • Photo of murder victim Bernard Guay

    Mugging Becomes Murder

    Sixty-two-year-old Bernard Guay was murdered in Allan Gardens park at 19 Horticultural Avenue. He was discovered alive on May 5, 1977 at 12:15 a.m., suffering from blunt force trauma. He was immediately transported to hospital, and died on May 11. Newspapers described Guay as “an old, nearly blind man who was beaten to death by […]

  • Black and white Murder victim Neil Wilkinson

    Stomped To Death

    Neil Robert Wilkinson, 35, was found beaten, stabbed and asphyxiated in his Charles St. East apartment on December 15, 1977. Wilkinson “was known to hang out at the Parkside and St. Charles” taverns. Wilkinson left the Parkside on December 9 just after 1 a.m. with two friends. He was found nude on his bed, dead, […]

  • Photo of murder victim Donald Rochester

    Victim Was An Assailant

    Police were stymied by the murder of 47-year-old Donald Rochester, a bartender and handyman for the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club, on February 13, 1978. Rochester had worked at the Club at 44 Price Street for more than 15 years and was well-liked by his colleagues. He left behind a wife and two children. Rochester was […]

    1978
  • Swimming Leads To Murder

    Shirley (Peter Christopher) Hauser, 23, was stabbed to death on August 19, 1978 on the school grounds of Western Technical Commercial High at 125 Evelyn Crescent. Police reported that Hauser, who lived on Westminster Ave., was a trans woman, dressed as a woman and was undergoing a sex change. She was stabbed in the back, […]

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    Robbed And Beaten To Death

    Colin Nicholson, 41, was found robbed and beaten on August 27, 1978, and died of severe head injuries on September 4. Police reported that Nicholson and his roommate Albert Homer Durnan, 56, met two men at the Stables, at 418 Church St., and brought them back for drinks to their 26 St. Joseph Street apartment. […]

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    Flowers and Feathers

    On Sunday September 17, 1978, Gerald Douglas White headed to a friend’s Rosehill Avenue apartment to feed some budgies and water flowers. He was beaten to death that day by Paris Colin Rogers, 23, of no fixed address. White, a salesman who lived at 44 Charles St West, had invited Rogers back to the Rosehill […]

  • Black and white photo of Sandy LeBlanc

    Unsolved Murder of Club Owner

    The popular bar manager, Alexander Sandy LeBlanc, 29, was murdered in his home at 16 St. Joseph Court (now Street) on September 20, 1978. His body was found by three friends. He died from more than 100 stab wounds. LeBlanc was the second gay man to be murdered that week – Gerald Douglas White was […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim William Duncan Robinson

    A Strange, Hollow Sound

    William Duncan Robinson, 24, was found by his sister when she became concerned that he did not show up to work for two days. He was found November 28, 1978, “horribly mutilated” in his 205 Vaughan Road apartment. Robinson was a “shy, well-dressed” man who, police believe, may have met his killer at the St. […]

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    Nine Stab Wounds

    James Francis McIntyre, 33, was stabbed with such force that the knife penetrated six inches into his brain. He suffered eight additional stab wounds, and died nine hours later in hospital on March 18, 1979. His lover would plead guilty to manslaughter on August 19, 1980. Paul Maurice Monette, 32, told police that McIntyre instructed […]

    1979
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    Murderous Love

    David Albert Manship once loved James MacDonald so much, he deliberately tried to get sent to jail just to be with MacDonald. But on April 8, 1979, Manship, 36, killed MacDonald, 35, in his King Street West apartment. Manship said the two had a tumultuous relationship that began 15 years previously. During the Christmas season […]

  • No Clear Motive

    Thirty-six-year-old Diane (Brian or Bryan William) Edwards was not the only person attacked when someone broke into a house at 45 Badgerow Ave. at 4:30 in the morning on October 21, 1979. Micheline Ferland, 35, Rosemary Doohan, 30 and Casey Doohan, 6, were also beaten. Edwards was the only one who died. Edwards, whom police […]

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    You Killed For That?

    James Edward Downing, 23, worked as a night cleaner at the College Street YMCA in Toronto’s central core. He lived, and died, on Ontario Street, in the east central area on the outskirts of the Gay Village. He was found lying in his bed by his 15-year-old sister, stabbed to death. She had gone to […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Marlon McRae

    Homicidal ‘Drag Hooker’

    Forty-two-year-old Marlon John McRae of 35 Wynford Heights Crescent was found March 1, 1981 lying in a pool of blood in the building’s underground parking garage. The attack was so savage, friends in the building had difficulty identifying him. He had lived there nine years. Even at the morgue, the building superintendent could not identify […]

    1981
  • Black and white photo of murder victim David Murphy

    Hammer and Electrical Cord

    David Murphy, 61, was a freelance artist, killed June 28, 1981 in his own Brimley Acres senior’s apartment at 2950 Lawrence Avenue East. He was found dead with his skull smashed in and he had been robbed. He sustained more than 20 blows to the face and head. An electrical cord was knotted around his […]

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    Stabbed in Allan Gardens

    George Matthew “Peaches” Roach was murdered in Allan Gardens on October 24, 1981. His killer, a male prostitute named Larry Raymond Perrault, 22, was so compelling in court, one of the female jurors who convicted him visited him later in prison. Roach, 46, of Edgewood Avenue, was found dead at about 8:30 a.m. on October […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim John Martin

    Murder, Intimidation and Murder Again

    Thirty-three-year-old John Henry Martin was an unemployed hairdresser who, on the night of November 14, 1981, met a male prostitute at the Selby Hotel. Martin was later stabbed several times in his sixth-floor Jarvis St. apartment. He lived just a block away from police headquarters. Police said Martin picked up the prostitute while his roommate, […]

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    One Night, Three Murders

    When Ottawa police stopped a vehicle for running an amber light, they had no idea they would arrest a triple-homicide suspect. Twenty-six-year-old Joseph Norbert Perceval Courville handed over ownership papers when requested. When Courville could not account for having the car of another man, nor for the stereo and other items in the car, police […]

    1982
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Kevin McBride

    Car and Cash Stolen

    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 […]

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    Cool, Calculating and Remorseless

    Kenneth Albert Jones was the perfect tenant, according to the superintendent of his 81 Charles Street East room. But on June 10, 1982, Jones was found lying naked in a pool of blood, suffering from multiple stab wounds in the neck and stomach. Jan Kubilinski, the superintendent of the rooming house, said she heard a […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Nirmal Rawle Ramnanan

    Maybe LGBT Murder

    Nirmal Rawle Ramnanan, 35, was found stabbed to death in his 939 Avenue Road apartment on Saturday August 7, 1982. He was found nude and bound to a chair, stabbed, by building authorities after a neighbour complained of loud music all night long. Because the loud music continued Saturday morning, building personnel used a passkey […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Graham Pearce

    Cold Case Resolved

    After going out for drinks to Boots, a gay bar, and then dancing at the Stages disco, Graham Hugh Pearce, 36, and a friend headed up Yonge St. to Wellesley St. where, at about 3:30am on March 20, 1983, they parted company. Pearce headed west along Wellesley toward his 1973 Plymouth. His body would be […]

    1983
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Charles Palmer

    Reload

    Twenty-four-year-old Torontonian Charles Edward Palmer was shot in the head and chest with a .22 calibre rifle at his family cottage on Bob Lake near Minden, Ontario. He bled to death. Several rifles, a gold bracelet and his wallet were stolen. Palmer, who lived on Shier Drive in Scarborough, was found lying dead on a […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Donald Weir

    Death From 40 Injuries

    Former Alderman and accountant Donald 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 […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Thomas Cahill

    In A Pool of Blood

    On Sunday, December 4th, 1983, high-school art teacher Thomas Cahill. 44. was stabbed to death in his own home at 199 Berkeley St. At 4:45am, tenant and friend Charles Furlong, 47, heard Cahill call out his name. When Furlong responded, he found Cahill in a pool of blood and the front door open. Police were […]

  • Strangled For Shouting

    Martha Babb was 38 years old when her roommate, David Thomas Muir, 39, grabbed her by the throat and strangled her. Babb and Muir often fought because Babb was a prostitute who would bring clients home. Babb, also known as John Alfred McDonald, was murdered on December 10, 1983, in their apartment on Wilton Street […]

  • First Murder Of 1984

    On the night of January 6, 1984, a lover’s triangle went very wrong for twenty-nine-year-old Christine Lavery Clifford. She was stabbed to death. Hers was the first murder of the year. Clifford was attacked in a ninth floor apartment of 31 Gilder Drive. She had been stabbed six times in the chest and back. She […]

    1984
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    Self-Defense Stabbing

    Phillip Robert (Barbara) Filshie was murdered by his common-law wife, Joyce Lorraine Filshie, 47, in a domestic dispute on December 20, 1984. Phillip had been seeing a doctor at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now named the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) for “a long time.” At the time, the Clarke was the only […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Kenneth Zeller

    High Park Homophobia

    Public school librarian Kenneth Zeller, 40, was mobbed in High Park by five teenage boys. He would be found later, slumped in his car. He had been chased by five young men, caught and beaten, dying of head injuries. They left him unconscious. It was the last day of school for the killers before summer […]

    1985
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Peter Ager

    Mark Of The Beast

    Grade 8 teacher Peter Lawrence Ager was 1985’s fifty-fifth homicide of the year. He was killed December 14, 1985, and found a few days later after a neighbour who noticed newspapers piling up in the apartment building hallway, and notified police. Ager, 31, was last seen attending a party at the Westbury Hotel and may […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Edwin Kasdan

    Not Guilty Verdict

    On August 6, 1986, Edwin Howard Kasdan was found dead by his parents, who had become concerned after not hearing from him on Wednesday morning: he met his parents for dinner every Wednesday night. He had died August 4. Kasdan, 55, was a real estate lawyer. He was found fully clothed on the living room […]

    1986
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Lisa Black

    Spontaneous Confession

    On March 2, 1987, police received a call for help at Northcote Avenue. They arrived to find Lisa Janet Black (aka Leo James Black), dying. Twenty-three-year-old Black died in hospital just two hours later of head injuries. Black also worked as a prostitute in Parkdale. She had contacted police just hours before being killed, saying […]

    1987
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    15 Minutes To Murder

    Paul Lopez Monte-de-Ramos, 38, was strangled to death and stabbed in the early morning hours of April 14, 1987, in a Sherbourne Street apartment. Previously, Monte-de-Ramos had lived with his killer. James Douglas Brenn, 26, of no fixed address, was charged with first degree murder. Brenn pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but the Crown refused the […]

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    My Nerves Just Went

    Allan Charles North, 54, was found murdered seven to ten day after his death on approximately May 3, 1987. North was a hairdresser, and his body was found in the back of his hairdressing salon, the House of North at 398 Dundas St. East. A postmortem examination showed he died of asphyxia. North lived with […]

  • Two Against One

    Marlene Ann Collins, 34, was murdered on September 5, 1987 in a basement apartment on Miller Street in the Davenport and Weston Roads area. Police were responding to a woman’s call telling them they would find a body in the house. It was the house of the killers: they were calling from Montreal, where they […]

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    Dispute Leads To Death

    A fight over which side of the floor cushions they would sleep on, cost Charles Robert Welbanks, 38, his life. Welbanks’ on-and-off lover of eight years, John Ralph Taylor, 46, stabbed him four times in the heart over the dispute on February 6, 1988. Welbanks, whom police thought was a woman because of the clothing […]

    1988
  • Black and white photo of murder victim David Madden

    Stabbed Sixty-Four Times

    Twenty-two-year-old David Madden was an X-ray technician at a chiropractic clinic who had moved into a new Scarborough apartment just three weeks before his death. On March 19, 1988, Michael Edwin Linhart, 29, stabbed Madden 64 times including in the heart. His body was found by his roommate in their Prudential Drive apartment. Police said […]

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    Body Dumped

    Charles Albert Lizotte’s body was seen being tossed out a speeding U-Haul truck on October 4, 1988. The dumping of the 30-year-old man, who lived on Shuter Street, was seen by a 9-year-old boy playing in an Ontario Hydro right-of-way in Pickering. Lizotte had been shoved into a sleeping bag thrown to the side of […]

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    Sex, LSD and Murder

    A wild sex and drug “nude party” ended in the early hours of October 26, 1989, in the death of Michael John Flannigan, 27, after he had his throat slashed. Flannigan and two other men spent several hours together in the apartment at 800 Richmond St. West belonging to one of the men, Gary Abrahms. […]

    1989
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    Absolutely Thrilled

    Apparently, fifty-five-year-old Dennis McDonald inspired such terror in his killer, he was stabbed 10 times. In the back. Then he bled to death. The killer, 19-year-old Guy Simon, was “absolutely thrilled” when he was acquitted of the murder. On December 18, 1989, moving company owner McDonald was attacked by Simon, who was 17 at the […]

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    On A Rampage

    Revenue Canada tax auditor Michael Boley, 56, was found dead on April 14, 1990. He was tied, fully-clothed, spread-eagle on his bed in his Homewood Avenue condominium. Four days later, police arrested Rodney William Glode, 24, of no fixed address, in his murder. Boley was a long-time resident of 40 Homewood Avenue, which has extremely […]

    1990
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Derek Dacosta

    Hairdresser Homicide

    Hairdresser Derek George Dacosta, 33, was strangled on the night of December 5, 1990 after an apparent robbery gone bad. Dacosta had told friends of plans to travel home to Trinidad to visit his parents for Christmas. Stolen from his 3 Gifford St. home were a television, VCR and audio cassette player. He was the […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Norman Cardwell

    Shot In The Head

    Fifty-one-year-old Norman John Cardwell was last seen on February 11, 1991, in the late afternoon, near the rear of his car. Witnesses said he was alone. He had just finished a 4pm appointment with his bank manager. Cardwell, who lived at at 9 Thorncliffe Avenue, had moved there about 20 years previously, and was recently […]

    1991
  • Black and white photo of Michael VadeBoncouer

    Comedian Murdered

    On March 24, 1991, Michael Henry Vadeboncoeur, 42, was stabbed to death in his home at 7 Hilltop Road. Vadeboncoeur was a former CBC radio comic called Boncoeur. He was found with multiple stab wounds in a blood-splattered apartment. A 16-year-old youth arrested two weeks later and charged with first-degree murder in his death, and […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim John Somerton

    Like Slamming Home Runs

    On July 23, 1992, John Patrick Somerton, 42, was found beaten to death in his own apartment above a store at 3465 Lakeshore Boulevard. He died from 11 blows to the head with a metal bat made while he was sleeping. Just days later, a 14-year-old boy was arrested. There was evidence of a “sexual […]

    1992
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Grayce Baxter

    Dominating In Death

    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 […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Normal Rasky

    Killer Crime Spree

    Just before midnight on July 30, 1993, a trail of blood led tenants of an 80 Charles St. East apartment building to the viciously beaten body of Norman Bernard Rasky, 62, a retired dentist. Residents followed the blood trail from the lobby of one building to the underground locker room of another, adjoining building. He […]

    1993
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Jack Bell

    Sharp-Eyed Transit Rider

    On August 2, 1993, Jack Willard Bell, 58, left his home at midnight, drove to an area well-known for male prostitutes and returned shortly after with the man who would be his murderer. Bell ran into Dougall Alexander MacDonald, a prostitute with no fixed address, and invited him back to his Collier St. home for […]

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    Spat On His Victim

    Dr. Stephen Patrick Kirby, 37, died from head injuries after being knocked to the ground and kicked in the head on February 26, 1994. Rendell Junior Gillette, 21, was charged with second-degree murder after Kirby died at St. Mike’s Hospital on March 5, days after the assault. Randall Scott Leach, 24, of no fixed address, […]

    1994
  • Black and white photo of murder victim John Beverly Wilson

    A Single Stab Wound

    On May 7, 1994, John Beverly “Bev” Wilson, 60, a well-known stage manager who once worked with the National Ballet of Canada, was found dead in the laundry room of his Eglinton Avenue West and Avenue Road apartment building. He was found in a large pool of blood, dead from a single stab wound. Wilson, […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Julieanne Middleton

    Was Prostitute Victim Of Serial Killer?

    Prostitute Julieanne Middleton, 23, was working the Parkdale neighbourhood when she was murdered. Police suspect she is a victim of serial killer Peter Dale MacDonald. She was found July 7, 1994 in Lake Ontario, just a few minutes’ walk from the Palais Royale at 1601 Lake Shore Blvd West, along Toronto’s western waterfront. Middleton was […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Ronald Isaac

    Bound, Gagged and Stabbed

    When Harry Ronald Isaac, 50, did not show up to work at Journey’s End hotel on Lombard St., he was reported missing by friends. On September 19, 1994, one friend ventured into Isaac’s apartment at 266 Sherbourne St. and found his body. Isaac was bound and gagged and stabbed more than half-dozen times. There was […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Larry Arnold

    Killer Confession

    On the evening of October 14, 1994, 46-year-old Larry Arnold disappeared. Arnold was last seen at Trax V (aka Traxx), a gay bar at 529 Yonge Street in the company of a young white man, about 25-years-old, stocky at 200 lbs, about 5’8”, with long blond curly hair and blue eyes, and having a French […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Virginia Coote

    Charges Dropped In Serial Killer Case

    Virginia Lee “Flex” Coote, 33, was a prostitute working in Parkdale when she was murdered. Police suspect she is a victim of serial killer Peter Dale MacDonald. Her body was found October 28, 1994 on Toronto’s waterfront, in Lake Ontario behind the Palais Royale. She used prostitution to feed her drug habit. Coote was a […]

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    Section 15 of the Charter is interpreted

    Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms used to state that every individual is to be considered equal regardless of religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, sex, age or physical or mental disability. It did not explicitly include sexual orientation. Activist Jim Egan took the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada […]

    1995
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Dennis Colby

    Troubled Trustee Death

    Dennis Joseph Colby, 47, was murdered in his home at 185 Cosburn Avenue on September 9, 1995 but it wasn’t until September 12 that police were called to the residence. Colby was described as an eccentric former Toronto school board trustee, a position he held for some time after his 1974 election. One Toronto newspaper […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victims Clayton Russell and John Clarke

    Double Homicide

    A double homicide took the lives of John Clarke, 40 and Clayton Russell, 60 when they were stabbed in their shared 807 College St. apartment on January 29, 1996. Police believe they had both been out at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning, but were found in their bachelor apartment the next day. “There’s no question […]

    1996
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Shawn Keegan

    Spree Killer Victim Dead At 19

    Shawn Keegan was just 19 years old when they was murdered by Toronto spree killer Marcello Palma. Keegan, described as a “transvestite prostitute”, was killed with the same gun as “female prostitute” Brenda Ludgate, 25, and “transsexual prostitute” Deanna (Thomas) Wilkinson, 31, within about three hours, on May 20, 1996. Keegan had lived for some […]

  • Spree Killer’s Last Victim

    Thirty-one-year-old Deanna (Thomas) Wilkinson was the last victim of spree killer Marcello Palma, who killed three prostitutes within just a few hours on Victoria Day weekend, May 20, 1996. Wilkinson was also a songstress who had performed at various venues, and was a poetess and short story writer. The Sex Workers Alliance of Toronto held […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Paul Armstrong

    Dumped and Burned

    Instead of celebrating a shared birthday with her twin brother, Mary Perra spent her 38th birthday burying him. Paul Armstrong’s charred body was found December 16, 1996, in the garbage behind an industrial complex. He was last seen by his roommate in their Leverhume Crescent home on Saturday morning, who said Armstrong left their house […]

  • Bathtub Murder

    Fifty-four-year-old Gracie (James Edward) Detzler, described in news reports as a “would-be transsexual”, was drowned in a bathtub at 280 Dundas Street East, on May 28, 1997, probably between 10pm and 10:30pm. Her killer, Steven Todd Craig, 26, contacted a lawyer who then advised police of the murder. On June 1, four days later, police […]

    1997
  • Black and white photo of Anthony Dowding

    Manslaughter and Five

    Fifty-six-year-old Anthony Charles Dowding, a Guyanese-born Canadian, was found dead in his apartment at 200 Wellesley Street East by police after they received an anonymous phone call. Dowding was a gay man who lived alone. He was murdered May 24, 1999 after a “brutal flurry of blows.” A trail of blood leading away from the […]

    1999
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Hugh Sinclair

    Eccentric Man Murdered

    July 7, 1999 was seventy-two-year-old Hugh Sinclair’s last day alive. Sinclair was murdered in his 42nd-storey apartment at 44 Charles Street West in the Manulife Centre. His murderer would be convicted before his body was found. Sinclair was a retired Sun Life insurance company employee and an avid antiques collector. He met Timothy Culham, 29, […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Neil Parker

    Foul Murder

    On May 1, 2000, police discovered the body of antique dealer Neil Parker, 49, three days after he had been murdered in his apartment. Residents had called to complaint about a foul odour. His live-in partner, Christopher Partak, 24, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Parker, found in a bathtub at their 77 Maitland […]

    2000
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    Strangled on Tyndall

    The body of sixty-three-year-old James “Jimmy” Thomas Campbell was found in a Parkdale apartment on April 29, 2000. Known to frequent area bars including the Gladstone Hotel (pictured below) and the Dufferin Gate, police said Campbell was strangled by his killer in the 99 Tyndall Ave. apartment. They had met in a park, went back […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Richard Kall

    His Legacy Lives On

    Richard Kall, 45, was chief operating officer of the March of Dimes charity who was murdered by a man he went home with. He was found dead inside his 5 Concorde Place condominium days after his May 21, 2000 murder. Kall’s death left “a great hole in the heart” of his colleagues, “We are all […]

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    Ex-Priest Murdered

    In 1989, Anthony Patrick Bennett pleaded guilty to one charge of gross indecency related to sex abuse of a minor male. The judge found Bennett, then an ordained priest with the Archdiocese of St. John’s Newfoundland, did not require custody, and Bennett was given two years probation. The Church identified Bennett as a homosexual, not […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim David Buller

    Computer Printout Is Key

    David Buller was murdered at his desk at the University of Toronto’s Visual Studies department at 1 Spadina Crescent. On January 18, 2001, he was stabbed repeatedly and died in his office, to be found by a caretaker the next day. Det. Sgt. Ken Taylor said that despite Buller, 50, having been stabbed repeatedly in […]

    2001
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Cassandra Do

    Sex Worker Strangled

    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 […]

    2003
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Henry Durost

    Psychiatrist Murdered

    When he did not show up for work, police were called to the home of prominent psychiatrist and former medical director of the Queen Street Mental Health Centre, Dr. Henry Durost, on January 6, 2004. Inside the apartment at 7 Jackes Avenue they found Durost, 78, dead. Durost died of strangulation, and suffered broken ribs, […]

    2004
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Janko Naglic

    Acquitted in 4 Hours

    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 […]

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    Civil Marriage Act passes

    On July 20, 2005, the Canadian Civil Marriage Act received royal assent, meaning persons of the same sex could legally get married in Canada.

    2005
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Lawrence Callahan

    Hard Knock Life

    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 […]

    2006
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Harley Walker

    Money Was The Motive

    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. […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Ross Magill

    Attack Was Personal

    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 […]

    2008
  • Black and white photo of murder victim Christopher Skinner

    SUV Was Murder Weapon

    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 […]

    2009
  • Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Skandaraj “Skanda” Navaratnam

    Long Time Relationship Led To Murder – Victim 1

    Zipperz was a bar at the edge of the Gay Village, operating for 16 years at the corner of Carlton and Church Streets. Known for its piano players and retro dance feel, it attracted an older crowd. That’s where police believe Skandaraj “Skanda” Navaratnam, 40, met his killer. Navaratnam was last seen in the early […]

    2010
  • Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Abdulbasir Faizi

    Wife Reported Him Missing – Victim 2

    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 […]

  • Black and white photo of murder victim Allan Lanteigne

    Accusations of Murder for Hire

    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 […]

    2011
  • Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Majeed “Hamid” Kayhan

    Serial Killer Chose Man With Double Life – Victim 3

    Majeed “Hamid” Kayhan, Abdulbasir Faizi and Skandaraj “Skanda” Navaratnam were all targets of Project Houston, a task force set up in November 2012 to investigate their disappearances. Kayhan and Navaratnam were also alleged targets of gay Toronto alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur. Project Houston did not find any evidence that the men were murdered, and […]

    2012
  • Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Brent Gartner

    Slashed and Stabbed

    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 […]

    2015
  • Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Soroush Mahmudi

    Mysterious Man Murdered – Victim 4

    Soroush Mahmudi, 50, was married to a woman and lived in the suburb of Scarborough with his stepson. When he went missing in August 2015, his wife never imagined it would take two years before she would learn a horrible truth. Described by his wife as a great guy with a good heart, Mahmudi, originally […]

  • Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam

    Victim was Sri Lankan Refugee – Victim 5

    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 […]

  • Photo of murder victim Dr. Mark Ernsting

    Cancer Researcher Murdered

    On December 15, 2015, Dr. Mark Ernsting went for his regular nightly walk. It would be his last. Ernsting, 39, was a well-respected cancer researcher who lived with is husband Robert Iseman on Carlton Street in downtown Toronto. His walk would take him around the nearby Ryerson University campus, where he was also an adjunct […]

  • Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Dean Lisowick

    Never Reported Missing – Victim 6

    Dean Lisowick had a tough life. Struggling with homelessness and drug addiction, the 47-year-old would rely on panhandling, digging through garbage to find booze bottles to return for cash, and prostitution. Sometimes the local bars would hire him to clean floors or stock shelves. He would stay in shelters around the downtown core, and sometimes […]

    2016
  • Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Selim Esen

    Missing Then Murdered – Victim 7

    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 […]

    2017
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    Bill C-16 protects gender identity

    On June 19, 2017, Bill C-16 received Royal Assent (became law). Bill C-16 amended the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, to protect  gender identity and expression.

  • Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Andrew Kinsman

    Disappeared Then Dead – Victim 8

    Andrew Kinsman, 49, disappeared from the area of Parliament and Winchester Streets , just outside the Toronto Gay Village, on June 26, 2017. He disappeared just 10 weeks after Selim Esen, triggering fear of a serial killer operating in the Village. During a press conference, friend Ted Healey said “I’ve never known Andrew to just […]

  • Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Tess Richey

    A Mother’s Heartbreak

    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 […]

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    Court Favours LGBTQ+ Rights Over Religious Rights

    On June 15, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that protecting the rights of LGBT+ university students from discrimination is more important than the religious freedom to discriminate against them.

    2018
Stories of Murder in Toronto's Gay Village

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