Cancer Researcher Murdered

Colleagues and friends of Dr Ernsting gather for a memorial where he died, photo by Caryn Lieberman
Colleagues and friends of Dr Ernsting gather for a memorial where he died, photo by Caryn Lieberman

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 professor. Then he ran into his killer, Calvin Michael Nimoh, 22, a stranger to him. Ernsting was stabbed nine times, including five times in the head and face, during an attack on the public sidewalk, in front of 40 McGill Street. He was stabbed with such force, the blade broke off and remained lodged in his skull.

Photo of murder victim Dr. Mark Ernsting
Photo of murder victim Dr. Mark Ernsting

Nimoh was arrested an hour later and charged with second degree murder.

Police originally thought the attack as a robbery-gone-wrong, but there was evidence of forcible confinement during the attack, according to Toronto police Detective Paul Worden. This resulted in an automatic upgrade under the Canadian Criminal Code, to first-degree murder.

On the first day of the first trial, Nimoh tried to plead guilty to manslaughter, by the crown attorney Michael Cantlon rejected the deal. Nimoh then pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, with Cantlon claiming that the plea offer was proof there was no question as to who the killer was. The only question that remained- one that would affect the charge and the verdict – was why.

Ninety minutes before Ernsting’s death, Cantlon said Nimoh had attacked a 65-year-old woman and stabbed her four times before knocking her to the ground and kicking her. Nimoh then got into a fight with his girlfriend before attacking Ernsting.

Murderer Calvin Nimoh
Photo of murderer Calvin Nimoh

A witness testified she saw Nimoh standing over Ernsting, stabbing him. She yelled out, causing Nimoh to flee. Shortly after the start of the trial, false information was given to the jury despite cautions from the presiding judge that jurors not use social media and the internet during the trial. A publication ban prevents knowing who introduced the fake news.

A new jury was called, and a second trial begun. At this trial, which began just days later, Nimoh said he had become enraged when, after stabbing and kicking the senior, he found out his girlfriend was bisexual and became enraged.

Nimoh claimed Ernsting came on to him, with the comment “Want to have some fun?” The defence said Nimoh, “who was trying to work through about homosexuality in the context of his (own) sexual  abuse,” blacked out and could not remember his attack on Ernsting.

On June 8, 2018, more than two and a half years after the murder, the jury found Nimoh guilty of first-degree murder, and he was sentenced to an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.


Murder Village Map

 

 

VITAL STATISTICS

Name: Mark Ernsting
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Date of Death: December 15, 2015
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 40 McGill Street
Suspect Name: Calvin Michael Nimoh
Conviction & Sentence: first-degree murder, life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years

 

Spat On His Victim

St. Michael's Hospital
St. Michael’s Hospital, where Kirby died

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, also faced numerous charges including being an accessory after the fact.

Reports indicated that Kirby was involved in a “minor altercation” with another man inside a Yonge Street and St. Joseph Street bar shortly before the attack at about 5:30 a.m.

Club Manatee, a now-defunct gay bar on St. Joseph Street area - by Vimeo
Club Manatee, a now-defunct gay bar on St. Joseph Street area – by Vimeo

Gillette, who said he is heterosexual, blamed Kirby for making a pass at him and grabbing his bum and then making racist comments when he was rejected. Gillette did not explain why he was in the gay bar. After attacking Kirby, Gillette spat on him.

Gillette, who has a criminal record, was arrested in an Oshawa motel on March 3.

Both prosecution and defense counsel agreed Gillette had not intended to kill Kirby, and blamed Kirby, stating in an agreed statement of fact that “by his words and conduct, [he] provoked the fight.” Kirby, a bisexual man, was known in the after-hours club as “an obnoxious drunk who often caused problems for other patrons and, on occasion, had to be asked to leave.”

On September 2, 1994, Gillette pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Dr. Stephen Patrick Kirby
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Date of Death: March 5, 1994
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: Yonge and St. Joseph Street area
Suspect Name: Rendell Junior Gillette
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 5 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

Like Slamming Home Runs

Black and white photo of 3465 Lakeshore Blvd

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 transaction” between the youth – identified later in court as Michael K – and the victim. He told police the murder was brought on by the victim after he made sexual advances.

However, Michael K. also bragged to more than a half-dozen friends that he had killed the man from whom he had received beer and cigarettes.

Black and white photo of murder victim John Somerton

Although charged with first-degree murder, the youth pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November 1992. The court was told the youth used the bat in such a way it was like “slamming home runs.”

In January 1994, the youth, by then 16, was sentenced under the Young Offenders Act to five years less a day: three years would be in secure custody and two would be in the community under supervision. A court psychiatrist reported the youth may be a dangerous psychopath and “his prognosis is at best guarded,” said Judge Marvin Morten.

The youth was sentenced to five years without consideration of the 18 months he had already served in custody – the delay largely was a result of the Crown’s bid to have his tried as an adult.

Somerton’s sister decried the sentence. “He killed somebody. They should have taken his life too.” Canada formally abolished the death penalty in 1976.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: John Patrick Somerton
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July 23, 1992
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: 3465 Lakeshore Boulevard
Suspect Name: Michael K.
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, 5 years less a day

Absolutely Thrilled

Google Streetview of Thatcher Avenue
Google Streetview of Thatcher Avenue

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 time. As a young offender, he could not be named in the press. However, the Crown successfully petitioned to have Simon tried as an adult. McDonald was able to call police for help after the attack, but was dead on arrival at the hospital.

Simon was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, but was committed to trial on second-degree murder.

Simon testified that he had worked for McDonald and visited McDonald at his Thatcher Avenue home to pick up his paycheque. Simon and McDonald had a drink and McDonald grabbed Simon by the crotch.

Simon pushed McDonald away but Simon said McDonald pulled a machete out from under his bed. Simon then pulled out his own knife and repeatedly stabbed McDonald in the back and chest in self-defence, he said during trial. Simon called 911 the next day and told police he wanted to turn himself in.

The jury took less than two hours to find Simon not guilty on February 22, 1992.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Dennis McDonald
Age: 55
Gender: Male
Date of Death: December 18, 1989
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: Thatcher Avenue
Suspect Name: Guy Simon
Conviction & Sentence: acquitted

Not Guilty Verdict

Accused Eric Swanson photo by Boris Spremo
Accused Eric Swanson photo by Boris Spremo

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.

Black and white photo of murder victim Edwin Kasdan

Kasdan, 55, was a real estate lawyer. He was found fully clothed on the living room floor of his  541 Blackthorne Avenue condominium. An autopsy showed he had been beaten with a blunt instrument and died from loss of blood and shock caused by multiple head injuries. There were no signs of a struggle.

On October 2, 1986, police announced the arrest of a 17-year-old who was charged with second-degree murder. The Young Offenders Act prevented the naming of the suspect in media. The youth was granted $500 bail in March 1987, before the trial, although the Crown did try to have the bail revoked. He would later be identified as Eric Swanson because he was tried in adult court.

Accused Eric Swanson photo by Frank Lennon
Accused Eric Swanson photo by Frank Lennon

Kasdan had been struck 24 times with a heavy glass ashtray. “The killing was an intentional, brutal and one-sided attack,” said assistant Crown attorney Kathryn Hawke.

Police said fingerprints matching Swanson were found in the kitchen. Blood was spattered through the bedroom and bathroom where Swanson had gone to clean up. A pair of jeans too small for Kasdan were found on the bed. Defence argued Swanson was disoriented after the murder, but the Crown argued that the clean-up indicated he was not.

Swanson admitted killing Kasdan. Swanson’s lawyer said Kasdan was “in search of prey” when he met Swanson. He said he was acting in self-defense. The Crown said Kasdan would not have presented a threat after the first few blows. After the first few blows, Swanson said he escaped the apartment but Kasdan chased him and pulled him back into the apartment.

Black and white photo of murder victim Edwin Kasdan

After the murder, Swanson was treated in hospital for injuries to his hands. He never regained full use of his hands.

On March 30, 1988, Swanson was found not-guilty by a jury after six hours of deliberation.

Black and white photo of murder victim Edwin Kasdan
Edwin Kasdan, University of Toronto

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Edwin Howard Kasdan
Age: 55
Gender: Male
Date of Death: August 4, 1986
Manner of Death: Blunt force trauma
Location: 541 Blackthorne Ave
Suspect Name: Eric Swanson
Conviction & Sentence: Not guilty

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.

Reload

Bob Lake photo for The Highlander
Bob Lake photo for The Highlander

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 couch on March 26, 1983, by his mother and sister. They had driven to the cottage after her son failed to show up for work at the family electrical automotive business.

Police said Palmer was last seen at about 6 p.m. on March 24 at a gas station in Minden, a town 190 km outside Toronto. A younger man was with him in his light blue 1979 Oldsmobile Delta 88. Police scoured the area of the cottage on foot and by helicopter looking for the missing car.

Black and white photo of murder victim Charles Palmer
murder victim Charles Palmer

Palmer’s car crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to the United States at about 4:30 p.m. on March 25 and was later found abandoned in the southern U.S.

Toronto native 18-year-old Kevin Joseph Humphrey was arrested eight days later after fleeing the country, and charged with first-degree murder, police said.

On July 18, 1983, the preliminary inquiry into the murder trial began. On July 19, Provincial Court Judge P.E. Barker imposed a publication ban. Information regarding the murder would be made public in 2008 when Humphrey appealed his sentence for a vicious knife attack on another man.

Humphrey had committed several crimes prior to murdering Palmer, including prostitution, theft, possession of stolen property, use of stolen credit cards, and possession of narcotics. During the trial, he alleged that Palmer was a violent rapist who had attacked a number of young men living the same area as Humphrey.

Humphrey claimed that after a friend had been raped by Palmer, he went with Palmer to the cottage where, after using drugs and getting into an altercation, he shot Palmer twice. Although Humphrey claimed he had gone with Palmer to confront and not kill him, evidence showed Humphrey had to reload the rifle after the first shot.

Humphrey was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with no change of parole for 10 years.

Humphrey was released on day parole in 1996 and committed various crimes over the next number of years. He was “unlawfully at large” (breached parole) and deemed a moderate risk for both general and violent recidivism. On October 16, 2006, he stabbed and slit the throat of a man named Richard Kent, a fellow crack user.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Charles Edward Palmer
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Date of Death: March 24, 1983
Manner of Death: Shot
Location: Bob Lake, Minden Ontario
Suspect Name: Kevin Joseph Humphrey
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, parole eligibility in 10 years

Cool, Calculating and Remorseless

Bottle of Jungle Juice poppers
Bottle of Jungle Juice poppers

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 commotion in Room 20, and found Jones when she opened the door.

Jones was a drug dealer into to S&M sex and poppers, and his murderer, Pierre Valley may have reacted “in a primitive way” to Jones’s sexual advances. The bisexual Valley claimed he thought Jones was going to rape him, and so murdered him.

When police arrived, and found Valley in a fetal position huddled against the wall. He was arrested at the scene and taken away in handcuffs. Jones had a pillow over his groin and what was described as a “leather belt decorated with metal studs buckled around his genitals” (a cock ring). He had been stabbed eight times. Jones had material stuffed in his mouth and bruises on his arms and back.

They had met at a gay bar on Yonge St where Jones was selling $10 bags of marijuana, and had known each other previously but not had sexual relations. Valley said Jones got naked in the room and blocked his way when he tried to flee. Jones then attacked Valley and motioned that he was going toward a hunting knife in the kitchen. Valley said he beat him to the weapon.

Valley, 28, of no fixed address, pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder of Jones, 27, at the June 1984 trial.

Evidence indicates Jones had left Valley alone in the apartment before the attack. The Crown said Valley had intended to rob Jones, and killed him when Jones resisted. Valley had taken $348 from Jones’ jeans.

On January 19, 1984, the jury deliberated five hours before returning a guilty verdict on second degree murder charges against Valley. “Your coming to Toronto (from rural Quebec) started you on a downward trend,” Justice Douglas Carruthers told Valley during the sentencing hearing.

Valley was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.

On the grounds that the judge did not allow the defense to present admissible evidence, Valley appealed the sentence and won a new trial. He was released on bail in February 1986 pending the new trial. While on bail, Valley upgraded his education from Grade 6 to Grade 11, with some subjects going up to Grade 12.

On July 11, 1986, Valley pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 months, on top of the 25 he had already served for a total of 37 months.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Kenneth Albert Jones
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Date of Death: June 10, 1982
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 81 Charles St. East
Suspect Name: Pierre Valley
Conviction & Sentence: Second degree murder, life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years. Appealed, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served a total of 37 months in prison.

Stabbed in Allan Gardens

Allan Gardens photo by James Victor Salmon
Allan Gardens photo by James Victor Salmon

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 24 by a woman walking near the park greenhouse.

On November 9, Perrault was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Perrault said he never agreed to have sex with Roach because he was not offered money. Instead, he alleged Roach grab his hair. Roach allegedly pulled a knife on Perrault and threatened to kill him if he didn’t perform fellatio. Perrault said he grabbed the knife and stabbed Roach three times in the back.

Allan Gardens visitor Leo Munn points to police chalk marks where George Roach was stabbed. Photo by Gus Carlson, The Sun
Allan Gardens visitor Leo Munn points to police chalk marks where George Roach was stabbed. Photo by Gus Carlson, The Sun

During the trial, Perrault was unable to explain why Roach allegedly put down the knife he had and how, if Roach was attacking him, he was able to stab the man in the back, saying only that he “jabbed” at Roach’s belly a few times. He could not explain why he had no bruises or scratches although Roach allegedly held him tightly by the arm.

A jury of eight men and four women found Perrault guilty of the charge of manslaughter, and he was sentenced to prison for eight years.

Murderer Larry Perrault
Murderer Larry Perrault

Simone Gruenfelder was on Perrault’s jury and during the sentencing phase said she wanted to help the killer after his trial, and when he got out of court. “I cannot go and support everyone,” she told media who asked about how she left about Roach’s family. Gruenfelder said she had been visiting Perrault, who is Indigenous, at least once a week between the end of the criminal trial and the start of the sentencing trial.

Perrault appealed his sentence in 1984, but the appeal was denied.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: George Matthew “Peaches” Roach
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Date of Death: October 24, 1981
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 19 Horticultural Ave
Suspect Name: Richard Brian St. Armand and Larry Raymond Perrault
Conviction & Sentence: Armand was acquitted. Perrault was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years

Flowers and Feathers

Headlines from various Toronto newspapers on Gerald White's murder
Headlines from various Toronto newspapers on Gerald White’s murder

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 Avenue apartment in the early morning hours of Monday September 18, as his friend was away on vacation. During an argument, Rogers attacked White and struck him on the head.

Rogers was arrested shortly afterward and charged with second degree murder. Police found White’s car on the following Tuesday.

Rogers was sentenced on February 19, 1979 to six years for manslaughter. Rogers said White, 39, made a pass at him, and that he was unable to control himself, beating White to death.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Gerald Douglas White
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Date of Death: September 18, 1979
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: Rosehill Avenue
Suspect Name: Paris Colin Rogers
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 6 years

Robbed And Beaten To Death

The Barn and Stables in Toronto, where Colin Nicholson met his killer
The Barn and Stables in Toronto, where Colin Nicholson met his killer

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. A third man joined them later.

At about 1:30am, Nicholson and Durnan were attacked with a heavy iron skillet. Durnan was also robbed during the attack. The thieves stole cash, clothing, silverware and liquor before fleeing. Nicholson and Durnan both regained consciousness and contacted police. Durnan was treated and released.

Charged were Brian Robert Pasher of Tichester Road, Kerry Pierre Gallant of Lawrence Avenue West and John Stephen Sharkey Jr. of Broadoaks Drive.

Sharkey was 19 years old, and was sentenced to seven years in prison for manslaughter.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Colin Nicholson
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Date of Death: September 4, 1978
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: 26 St. Joseph Street
Suspect Name: Brian Robert Pasher, Kerry Pierre Gallant and John Stephen Sharkey Jr.
Conviction & Sentence:  Sharkey Jr. was sentenced to seven years in prison for manslaughter. Pasher and Gallant are currently unknown.

Stomped To Death

530 Yonge Street, former site of the Parkside Tavern
530 Yonge Street, former site of the Parkside Tavern

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, after he failed to show up to work at the Royal Bank for four days. Wilkinson died from asphyxiating on his own blood. His killer was arrested the next month.

Twenty-four-year-old James Allan Walker of no fixed address was arrested on January 30, 1978, in the Parkside Tavern and charged with first-degree murder. Walker pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but the Crown rejected the offer. Justice Donald Morand ordered the trial by jury to proceed.

Photo of murder victim Neil Wilkinson
Photo of murder victim Neil Wilkinson

After alcohol and marijuana, Wilkinson started to talk about sexual fantasies including young children, and that made Walker enraged. A witness testified in court that Wilkinson was interested in bondage. Walker “kicked and stomped” Wilkinson to death and then showered before leaving. Walker’s feet were injured as a result of stomping on Wilkinson’s face. He could not explain why he was also naked, saying “I don’t know… Sorry, I can’t think of an answer.” He later testified that he took his clothes off to stop Wilkinson from taking them off.

Walker was found guilty of second-degree and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 12 years.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Neil Robert Wilkinson
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Date of Death: December 15, 1977
Manner of Death: Asphyxiation
Location: Charles St. East
Suspect Name: James Allan Walker
Conviction & Sentence: second-degree and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 12 years

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

Homophobic Hatred

410 Eastern Ave by Google Maps
410 Eastern Ave by Google Maps

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

 

 

Vital Statistics

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