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

His Legacy Lives On

5 Concord Place, home of murder victim Richard Kall
5 Concord Place, home of murder victim Richard Kall

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 just devastated,” said the president, Andria Spindel.

Black and white photo of murder victim Richard Kall
March of Dimes executive Richard Kall

Police were unaware he was dead until the suspect confessed during a traffic stop. A man driving Kall’s black 1998 Volvo was stopped by police on May 23, 2004 for erratic driving. A spontaneous statement by the driver led police to Kall’s home.

David Bruce Martin, 27, of no fixed address, was charged with first degree murder. He was also charged with dangerous driving after attempting to flee police.

Kall met Martin on Grenville St., about one block away from Toronto Police headquarters. Martin was a gay prostitute whom Kall may have met previously, and it was agreed in court that there was no animosity between the men. Martin, however, had been binging on drugs and at some point, became enraged.

Photo of murderer David Bruce Martin
David Bruce Martin

During trial Martin admitted slashing and stabbing Kall more than 50 times with a hunting knife. When he first stabbed Kall in the neck, Kall asked what he was doing, Martin said, “I’m killing you.” After murdering Kall and washing up, he stole some money and the car and headed back downtown. Martin picked up another prostitute and purchased more drugs. That is when police spotted him driving erratically and arrested him.

Martin pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Kall’s family requested that as many lurid details as possible be kept from the public, and only a bare outline was provided in the statement of facts. “I’m sorry, I really can’t say anything about it,” said prosecutor Sheila Cressman.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Richard Kall
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Date of Death: May 21, 2000
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 5 Concorde Place
Suspect Name: David Bruce Martin
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years

Bound, Gagged and Stabbed

The Selby Hotel where Ronald Isaac met his killer
The Selby Hotel where Ronald Isaac met his killer

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 no sign of robbery.

Known to frequent gay bars, he was last seen at the Selby Hotel on September 16. That is the day Isaac died. Isaac was also an AIDS care volunteer at Casey House.

Black and white photo of murder victim Ronald Isaac
Murder victim Ronald Isaac

Police said Isaac “picked up a lot of street kids” for sex and were initially considering a connection to the May 7 1994 murder of John “Bev” Wilson.

Leonard Alexander Welch, 32, and Isaac met at Boots, a local gay bar, and stopped for beer before heading back to Isaac’s home. They played cards and had sex. Welch said it would cost Isaac $60 and was given his bank card to remove the money. A bank surveillance camera showed Welch using Isaac’s bank card on September 16.

Welch claimed later in court that he tried the card three times, but there was no money. He became enraged, started drinking at a local bar, and took cocaine. Welch decided Isaac had taken advantage of him and returned to Isaac’s home to kill him. Isaac’s hands were bound with electrical tape, his feet were bound with shoelaces and a towel was used to gag him.

Ronald Isaac's murderer Leonard Welch
Ronald Isaac’s murderer Leonard Welch

Within days, police issued a warrant for Welch, of no fixed address. Welch had been spotted stalking men “in Metro’s downtown gay strip” just days after the murder, police said.

Welch was arrested on September 30, 1994 in Montreal. During the September 1996 trial, Welch advised his lawyer he was guilty. He said he was consumed with guilt and confessed to murdering a “good man” over unpaid sex. Welch’s lawyer said he had tried to kill himself 16 times.

Welch pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with no parole for 15 years.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Harry Ronald Isaac
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Date of Death: September 16, 1994
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 266 Sherbourne St.
Suspect Name: Leonard Alexander Welch
Conviction & Sentence: second-degree murder with no parole for 15 years

Sharp-Eyed Transit Rider

Arrest of Dougal MacDonald by police - photo by Tony Costas
Arrest of Dougall MacDonald by police – photo by Tony Costas

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.

Black and white photo of murder victim Jack Bell
Murder victim Jack Bell

Bell ran into Dougall Alexander MacDonald, a prostitute with no fixed address, and invited him back to his Collier St. home for Valium and alcohol. MacDonald beat and strangled Bell, then set fire to the first-floor hallway closet, but it went out before doing much damage. Shortly after 6:30am on August 3, police were alerted to the death by a long-time friend who found Bell on the second floor.

Police at the crime scene, 125 Collier St. Toronto, for Jack Bell's murder
Police at the crime scene, 125 Collier St. Toronto, for Jack Bell’s murder

Police and media cautioned people living in the Gay Village after the slaying of Bell because of the murder of Norman Rasky on Charles St. shortly before. Although police said Rasky’s murder “had nothing to do with his sexual orientation, it wasn’t gay bashing,” the local 519 Church St. Community Centre distributed community flyers, urging caution in the neighbourhood.

Removal of Jack Bell's body from his home, photo by Mark Rozitis, Globe and Mail
Removal of Jack Bell’s body from his home, photo by Mark Rozitis, Globe and Mail

On August 9, a sharp-eyed transit rider recognized MacDonald from media coverage and called 911. Police intercepted the bus at the corner of Eglinton Ave. and Swift Dr., and arrested MacDonald, 24, on first-degree murder charges.

During the trial, MacDonald said Bell “posed questions” that, combined with the drugs and alcohol, resulted in the attack. MacDonald’s lawyer insisted his client was not homophobic. On September 29, 1993, MacDonald pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 13 years, with no eligibility for parole until half his sentence was complete.

Jack Bell grave marker, York Cemetery Toronto
Jack Bell grave marker, York Cemetery Toronto

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Jack Willard Bell
Age: 58
Gender: Male
Date of Death: August 3, 1993
Manner of Death: Beaten and strangled
Location: 125 Collier St
Suspect Name: Dougall Alexander MacDonald
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 13 years

Killer Crime Spree

80 Charles St East Toronto
80 Charles St East

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 had been shoved into a basement locker. He was strangled, bludgeoned and stabbed more than 30 times.

Rasky was previously married, and had three daughters.

 Black and white photo of murder victim Normal Rasky
Murder victim Normal Rasky

Police did not originally suspect robbery, but in less than a week, they had identified suspects. On August 3, police issued warrants for “two men, both white [who] are armed and considered dangerous.”

Terrence Allan Fitzsimmons, 29, and Donald Dara Hebert, 30, of 80 Charles St. East, were also wanted in connection with a two armed bank robberies at the same branch of Canada Trust on Bloor St. West, on July 27 and 29. Hebert worked at Sunquest Vacations for the previous three years.

Black and white photo of murderer Donald Hebert
Black and white photo of murderer Donald Hebert

Fitzsimmons had been released from Kingston Penitentiary before the murder, on December 31, 1992, after serving the mandatory minimum. He served six years of a nine-year manslaughter sentence for stabbing an inmate to death.

Fitzsimmons was under the supervision of a parole officer after being released. He was re-arrested in April, 1993 for violating the no-drinking provision of his release order and was released May 27. He left the Kingston area, and a warrant for his arrest was issued July 13.

Black and white photo of murderer Terrence Fitzsimmons
Black and white photo of murderer Terrence Fitzsimmons

Police believe the three men met in a local gay bar, and were quick to assure media and the community they did not believe Rasky’s slaying was linked to that of Jack Bell, who was found before police released the names of Rasky’s murder suspects, beaten to death in his home.

Community members provided tips to police regarding the names of the suspects. Police said both Fitzsimmons and Hebert were also gay.

They believed Rasky met and began staying with Hebert in apartment 103, 80 Charles St. East, where Hebert had been living for about a year. Rasky had recently been locked out of his own apartment for allowing homeless men to live with him. .

On August 4, Hebert was found beaten and stabbed to death in a derelict and boarded-up Red Barn restaurant on Bank Street in downtown Ottawa, which was rumoured to be full of transients and squatters. Fitzsimmons had murdered his accomplice.

Black and white photo of Pat Hebert (OPP) holding photo of brother Donald Hebert by Mike Slaughter
Black and white photo of Pat Hebert (OPP) holding photo of brother Donald Hebert by Mike Slaughter

A day later, Fitzsimmons walked into a police station in Ottawa and turned himself in for both the murder of Rasky and of his best friend Hebert, as well as the bank robberies. Fitzsimmons said, “It’s got to stop. I’m tired of killing people.”

Montreal police also wanted to question Fitzsimmons on the weekend robbery and murder of a cab driver, Fernand Talbot.

It appeared Hebert and Fitzsimmons robbed a bank twice, killed Rasky, and robbed and killed the Montreal cab driver, before Fitzsimmons killed Hebert, all between July 27 and August 4, 1993.

In June, 1994, Fitzsimmons pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the killing Norman Rasky and, a week later, pleaded guilty to killing Hebert. Both were life sentences. He pleaded guilty in July in Montreal to the killing of Talbot.

On March 30, 1995, Terrence Fitzsimmons was found dead, hanging in his cell at the Kingston Penitentiary.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Norman Bernard Rasky
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July 30, 1993
Manner of Death: Stabbing, strangulation, blunt force trauma
Location: 80 Charles St. East
Suspect Name: Terrence Allan Fitzsimmons, Donald Dara Hebert
Conviction & Sentence: Fitzsimmons was convicted of second-degree murder and received life in prison. Hebert was murdered by Fitzsimmons prior to arrest

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. He was found on the living room floor.

The men had been drinking beer, taking LSD and having sex during the night. Abrahms said James David Hughes woke him the next morning, demanding to be let out of the apartment that had a special lock.

After letting Hughes out, Abrahms found Flannigan in the living room and called 911. He had been hit with a blunt object before being stabbed. He had stab wounds to his chest, abdomen, neck and face, as well as having his throat slashed. Police found both a folding knife and a steak knife. In all, Flannigan was stabbed 74 times. Fifty-six of the wounds were in the area of the throat.

Flannigan was a “soft spoken and gentle” unemployed cartoonist who lived in a Richmond St. West apartment. Police believe he was unconscious at the time of the stabbings: they believe may have been knocked out by a two-by-four.

Hughes had an extensive criminal history and was on parole for robbery at the time of the murder. At the time of his arrest just two days after the murder, Hughes said he was acting in self-defence. Hughes, 28, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

The trial began January 23, 1991 and lasted about two months. Abrahms said he often cruised the George St. area looking for a party, and that is where he found Hughes and Flannigan. He had met Flannigan a week earlier.

The jury deliberated only five hours before finding Hughes guilty of second-degree murder. Justice David Watt sentenced him to life in prison without chance of parole for 25 years.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Michael John Flannigan
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Date of Death: October 26, 1989
Manner of Death: Stabbed, blunt force trauma
Location: 800 Richmond St. West
Suspect Name: James David Hughes
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years

Body Dumped

Ontario Hydro right of way in Mississauga

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 the road. He had been beaten and strangled.

In less than a week, police arrested Yves Joseph LeClerc, 29. Through his lawyer, LeClerc admitted responsibility, but pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

LeClerc and Lizotte had been involved in a dispute on September 30, 1988, in the home of Claude Gobell, on Trefann Street. LeClerc, a French Canadian, said he killed Lizotte because of his obnoxious behaviour and derogatory comments toward the French Canadian, telling Inspector Leo Campbell, “Look, I killed the guy… He was being an asshole so I killed him.”

LeClerc, a drug dealer, invited Lizotte to his home, which was next door to the party, to smoke marijuana and drink beer. LeClerc said he was pushed to the floor by Lizotte and kicked in the stomach. LeClerc said Lizotte then turned his back on him, giving him time to get to his feet.

He attacked Lizotte after the man threatened to sexually assault him. Lizotte was knocked to the floor and LeClerc grabbed a barbell and placed the shaft across Lizotte’s neck. He then knelt on each end of the shaft. LeClerc then grabbed a nearby piece of wire and twisted it around Lizotte’s neck. LeClerc would later tell a friend that Lizotte grimaced and tried to break free, but was unsuccessful.

Just two days prior to the murder of Lizotte, LeClerc stole $275 and set fire to a Queen Street East house, causing almost $50,000 in damages. LeClerc was arrested and charged with Lizotte’s murder before going to trial on the arson charge.

On October 1, 1988, LeClerc’s friend Tony Ruscito dropped by the home before going to work, and LeClerc showed Ruscito the dead body hidden under the bed.

Lizotte’s arms were tied and he was wrapped in a sleeping bag. His body was dragged down some narrow stairs but slipped a few times on the way down before being hidden behind a hot water tank. Four days later, when the decomposing body “stunk up the house,” a friend named Pickles, whose bed was by a vent in a room over the body, rented a van to dispose of the corpse. He said by this time, most people in the neighbourhood knew about the dead man.

LeClerc said the other men at the house had nothing to do with the killing, but did help dispose of the body. Pickles, LeClerc and two other men moved the body into LeClerc’s rom and then out a window to a rented U-Haul . LeClerc and Pickles then drove to Pickering to dump the body, and returned home to drink.

LeClerc was found guilty of second-degree murder and was given a life sentence. “I do not believe this. I am not guilty of second-degree murder. I did not mean it,” LeClerc said after the jury returned their verdict. They had deliberated less than three hours. LeClerc would be eligible for parole after 10 years.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Charles Albert Lizotte
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Date of Death: September 30, 1988
Manner of Death: Strangled, beaten
Location: Trefann Street
Suspect Name: Yves Joseph LeClerc
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years

First Murder Of 1984

Scarborough General Hospital where Christine Clifford died
Scarborough General Hospital where Christine Clifford died

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 died while undergoing surgery at Scarborough General Hospital just a few hours later.

A second woman who was in the apartment at the time of the killing, Alanna “Maume” Smith, was treated at hospital for a drug overdose and slashed wrists. However, police could not find the weapon that killed Clifford on scene.

Just four days later, police announced they arrested Winnifred Lynn Kennedy, 29, of Flastaff Avenue and charged her with second-degree murder.

All three women had been out drinking at a tavern with a neighbour and when they returned home after picking up Smith’s two-year-old-son, Smith said she took a handful of pills.

Smith said that on the night of the murder, all three women were hired to “perform a lesbian show” for a man named “Dave”, but said she had no recollection if he showed up or even if the show happened. Smith had a criminal record including a conviction of assault with a knife.

Kennedy, who pleaded not guilty, said she awoke from a drunken stupor to find Smith had slit her own wrists and Clifford was stabbed to death on the balcony. Neighbours said they heard a man and woman arguing in the apartment at about the time of Clifford’s death.

Kennedy said she tried to revive Clifford, which explained the blood on her clothes. County Court Judge Karen Weiler acquitted Kennedy of the murder because although there was suspicion that she was the murderer, there was insufficient evidence. “I feel that there were other people who were with the accused that night, who have not been charged and who have not told the entire truth,” Weiler said in her November, 1984 judgement.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Christine Lavery Clifford
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Date of Death: January 6, 1984
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 31 Gilder Dr.
Suspect Name: Winnifred Lynn Kennedy
Conviction & Sentence: Acquitted

Strangled For Shouting

Alcohol bottles

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 after a night of heavy drinking and fighting. Babb was shouting at Muir and Muir strangled her with his hands to keep her quiet. When Babb went limp, Muir said he thought she was faking it, and put her into a bathtub filled with water. When Babb was not revived, he covered her in a blanket and threw cat litter on top, then went out to continue drinking.

Muir, described as a long-time alcoholic, confessed that he had killed someone and left her in the bathtub. The friend called police, who found Babb in the apartment just as Muir was returning home. He was charged with second-degree murder.

Muir pleaded guilty to manslaughter in May, 1984 and was sentenced to five years in jail.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Martha Babb AKA John Alfred McDonald
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Date of Death: December 10, 1983
Manner of Death: Strangulation
Location: Wilton Street
Suspect Name: David Thomas Muir
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, five years

Death From 40 Injuries

Police tape at the crime scene where Donald Weir was murdered, from CityPulse News
Police tape at the crime scene where Donald Weir was murdered, from CityPulse News

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.

Black and white photo of murder victim Donald Weir

Weir, 50, was found by firefighters who had rushed to his apartment in response to a security staff person’s call: a fire alarm had been triggered by a pillow fire in his 20th floor apartment at 5 Massey Square. Weir’s roommate was out of the province at the time of the slaying, but later confirmed to police that items were stolen.

Weir was last seen alive that Tuesday at a bank and at some point had been in a Danforth Ave. bar alone. He was discovered at about 11 p.m. that night.

Black and white photo of murder victim Donald Weir from 1964
Donald Weir, 1964, from CityPulse News

On August 25, 1983, police announced they had arrested Richard Allen McKay, 23 and David John Kendall, 32, and charged them with first-degree murder. Both men were prostitutes.

During the trial, both men blamed each other for the murder. Injuries included stab wounds, cuts, scratches, bruises, scalding and “splitting of the skin.” Weir had more than four times the legal limit of blood alcohol for impaired driving and was called a “sitting duck” by psychologist and drug expert Howard Cappell.

Black and white photo of murder victim Donald Weir

Justice Nick McRae doubted Kendall would have participated in the killing.

On Wednesday July 25, 1984, both men were found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without chance of parole for at least 10 years for the torture and murder of Weir.

Black and white photo of murderer David Kendall
murderer David Kendall

On April 23, 1987, the Ontario Court of Appeal quashed the finding of second-degree murder against Kendall and allowed him a new trial.

Kendall was freed on bail pending his trial, but in July 1987, fled with his 16-year-old niece after her mother put up the bail money. He was eventually caught and was tried a second time. Kendall pleaded guilty to perjury and failing to comply with a court order, for which he received a sentence of two years. He was also given six months for skipping bail. He was subsequently found guilty of manslaughter.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Donald William Weir
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Date of Death: April 5, 1983
Manner of Death: Stabbed, blunt force trauma
Location: 5 Massey Square
Suspect Name: Richard Allen McKay and David John Kendall
Conviction & Sentence: McKay and Kendall were found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 10 years. Kendall appealed his conviction and later was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in prison.

No Clear Motive

Murder house at 45 Badgerow Avenue, Toronto

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 described specifically as a transvestite (and who may have been scheduled for gender reassignment surgery a week later) was brutally attacked with a butcher knife and baseball bat. The bat was later found in an alley two doors away. The knife was found in the home.

“He was after Diane in particular,” said Ferland. He said he was going to kill “the gearbox,” she said. Gearbox is a derogatory name for a gay man. Ferland said she and Doohan tried to prevent the attack. “Three of us ended up in hospital and one of us is in the morgue.”

Michelle Ferland photo by Don Dutton, Toronto Star
Michelle Ferland photo by Don Dutton, Toronto Star

Edwards, who was asleep on the couch at the beginning of the attack, was stabbed in the heart and severely beaten with the baseball bat.

Gregory Thomas Cooper, 25, also known as Robert Douglas Anderson, was arrested shortly after the murder, and charged with second-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder.

Police officer guards door of murder house- Photo by Jim Wilkes, Toronto Star
Police officer guards door of murder house- Photo by Jim Wilkes, Toronto Star

At trial, psychiatrist R. Wood Hill testified that Cooper experienced a “command hallucination” telling him to kill, but there was never a clear motive for the murder. After the initial attack, Cooper drank a beer and attacked Edwards again, who was still alive. He then slashed Edwards’ throat and left. Cooper had consumed about 20 bottles of beer prior to the killing.

On May 27, 1980, Cooper was found not guilty by reason of insanity on all charges and Justice John Osler sentenced him to be confined indefinitely at a maximum security hospital. His sentence will be reviewed annually.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Diane (Brian or Bryan William) Edwards
Age: 36
Gender: Female
Date of Death: October 21, 1979
Manner of Death: Blunt force trauma, stabbed
Location: 45 Badgerow Ave
Suspect Name: Gregory Thomas Cooper also known as Robert Douglas Anderson
Conviction & Sentence: Not guilty by reason of insanity, confined indefinitely at a maximum security hospital, sentence reviewed annually

Rage At Rejection

OPP bring in a canine to help search for Carmen Allgrove's remains. Photo from Canadian Statesman newspaper
OPP bring in a canine to help search for Carmen Allgrove’s remains. Photo from Canadian Statesman newspaper

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 sex. After they returned to Donoghue’s King Street East apartment, they had been kissing, and got into an argument because Allgrove refused Donoghue’s advances. Allgrove allegedly took Donoghue’s hunting knife from the kitchen and threatened to stab him when his back was turned. They struggled, going from kitchen to bedroom, where Donoghue stabbed Allgrove 30, possibly as many as 50, times.

OPP constable McKay at the site of Carmen Allgrove's remains. Photo from Canadian Statesman newspaper
OPP constable McKay at the site of Carmen Allgrove’s remains. Photo from Canadian Statesman newspaper

Allgrove collapsed and died in a pool of blood. Donoghue dragged Allgrove back to the kitchen, where he knelt in the blood and cut up Allgrove into quarters with a hacksaw and a knife.

The next day, Donoghue rented a car, put the pieces in three garbage bags, and left Allgrove’s remains in a field off Highway 115. It was more than 80 km outside Toronto. A mushroom picker found the nude dismembered remains in two trash bags on September 4. A German shepherd owned by the Ontario Provincial Police, found the remaining bag nearby. Allgrove, who had a criminal history, was identified by his fingerprints.

During the trial, Donoghue said he and his victim were in a life and death struggle, and that it was Allgrove who attacked him with a hunting knife. “I thought if you stabbed a body it would be very hard, but I remember something very soft,” Donoghue said in court.

Donoghue was described in court as having no remorse, only concern for his own legal situation. Justice Edson Haines described the attack as a “homosexual frenzy” and that the claim of self-defence was “probably concocted.”

On June 29, 1977, 10 months after murdering Allgrove, Donoghue was found guilty of manslaughter. He was sentenced to seven years.

He appealed his conviction on the basis of how the trial judge instructed the jury, but on June 7, 1978, his conviction was upheld with a dissenting opinion. One justice said he through there should be a new trial, while two others said that if there were deficiencies, “no substantial wrong or miscarriage of justice resulted.”

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Carmen Noel Allgrove
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Date of Death: August 29, 1976
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: King St East
Suspect Name: Joseph Patrick Donoghue
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, seven years in prison

Cab Ride To Death

Photo of the BaBloor Hotel, City of Toronto archives
Photo of the BaBloor Hotel, City of Toronto archives

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.

Photo of murder victim Aiden Macdonald
Photo of murder victim Aiden Macdonald in military uniform

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.

Photo of Black Creek by Kathy Thoth
Photo of Black Creek by Kathy Thoth

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

 

 

Vital Statistics

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

From Ford to Farnham

The Ford Hotel where Alexander Bakalis met his killer
The Ford Hotel where Alexander Bakalis met his killer, photo from Toronto Star

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

 

 

Vital Statistics

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