Money Was The Motive

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

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

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

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

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

Photograph of murderer David Reid
Murderer David Reid

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

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

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

Murder Village Map



Vital statistics

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

Foul Murder

77 Maitland Place, where Neil Parker was murdered
77 Maitland Place, where Neil Parker was murdered

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.

Black and white photo of murder victim Neil Parker
Neil Parker, 1984

His live-in partner, Christopher Partak, 24, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Parker, found in a bathtub at their 77 Maitland Place home, had his throat slit to “make the body stink”.

On April 29, Partak strangled Parker, put his fully clothed body into the bathtub, and filled it with ice. He attempted to make the murder look like a suicide.

Partak, described as a gay prostitute, tried to take money from Parker’s bank accounts after the murder, partied at gay bars and lied to friends about Parker’s whereabouts.

Murderer Christopher Partak
Murderer Christopher Partak

Before the murder, the men had gone to Sneakers, a downtown gay bar. When Parker and Partak went home, they began to fight. Parker called Partak “a whore and a piece of garbage.” Partak threw Parker against the wall and used both hands to strangle him. However, Partak then “did [things] to the body [that] made it difficult for the authorities to determine a cause of death,” Justice Epstein said in her ruling. “What he did… to the body is disgusting, vile and deviant.”

Police found a confession signed by “Chris” at the scene, saying he would kill himself. Ten days after the arrest, Partak confessed to police. “I’m the one you’re looking for. I did it.”

In court, 12 victim impact statements were given, describing Parker as a loving, caring person who was a peacemaker. Parker had developed a problem with alcohol after the passing of his mother.

Black and white photo of murder victim Neil Parker
murder victim Neil Parker

Parktak, who was facing deportation back to America, pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder, but guilty to the charge of manslaughter. Madame Justice Gloria Epstein agreed with both prosecution and defence lawyers for a nine-year sentence, minus time served.

Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

Name: Neil Parker
Age: 49
Gender: Male
Date of Death: April 20, 2000
Manner of Death: Strangulation
Location: 77 Maitland Place
Suspect Name: Christopher Partak
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 9 years

Manslaughter and Five

200 Wellesley St East by City of Toronto
200 Wellesley St East, photo by City of Toronto

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.”

Black and white photo of murder victim Anthony Dowding
Murder victim Anthony Dowding

A trail of blood leading away from the apartment led police to believe the attacker may have been injured during his attack. Dowding died of blunt force trauma, which was 20 blows to the head.

On June 3, police announced they had arrested thirty-year-old David Ali Sageri and charged him with second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to five years.

Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

Name: Anthony Charles Dowding
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Date of Death: May 24, 1999
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: 200 Wellesley St. East
Suspect Name: David Ali Sageri
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 5 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

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

My Nerves Just Went

Black and white photo of 398 Dundas St East where Allan North was murdered

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 John Alison Hay, 36, and theirs was a stormy relationship. Hay had previously served eight months for assaulting North.

On May 25, Hay turned himself into police. Hay had told people at a downtown church mission he had “killed his best friend”. Hay had strangled North because “he was bugging me, harassing me and my nerves just went.”

Originally charged with second-degree murder, Hay pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 8 ½ years.


Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

Name: Allan Charles North
Age: 54
Gender: Male
Date of Death: about May 3, 1987
Manner of Death: Asphyxiation
Location: 398 Dundas St. East
Suspect Name: John Alison Hay
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 8 ½ 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.

Murdered in Markham

Robert Mortimore grave marker - Eckardt Cemetery Markham, Ontario
Robert Mortimore grave marker – Eckardt Cemetery Markham, Ontario

The summer of ’67 was anything but love for seventeen-year-old Robert Wayne Mortimore of Glouster Street in the Gay Village. That was year he was murdered and his body dumped in a field northeast of Markham. He was found July 17, 1967.

Mortimore’s brother had reported him missing a week earlier. His naked body was found in a field three kilometres northeast of Markham. He had been stabbed. Identification was made through fingerprints they had recently obtained after a break and enter conviction against Mortimore.

Mugshot photo of murder victim Robert Mortimore
Mugshot photo of murder victim Robert Mortimore

Mortimore was last seen alive on July 7 in the Glouster Street rooming house he shared with his brother, Reginald. An autopsy did not immediately reveal his cause of death, but it “might well be a murder.” Police said they were aware “that Mortimore supplemented his earnings by homosexual activities.”

Mortimore was one of three young men who went missing from the areas in and around Toronto’s Gay Village, although it was not known as The Village in 1967. They all turned up dead in similar circumstances.

The other young men were Eric Jones and Richard “Dickie” Hovey, but neither of those teenagers was identified for 40 years.

In August 1967, just 11 days after finding Mortimore’s body, James Henry Greenidge, later known as James Henry, was charged with capital murder. He was in a Barrie jail on the charge of the attempted murder of William Howell, 21. Henry was 28 at the time. It took Henry until January 28, 1968, to secure a legal aid lawyer.

Mugshot photo of murderer James Henry Greenidge
Mugshot photo of murderer James Henry Greenidge

Mortimore got into Henry’s car and was taken to a gravel road, where he asked for $20.

“He said it would cost me money and I sneered at him. He made a slice at me with a small penknife. I slapped him. I got out and started punching him. I grabbed the knife and poked him with it a couple of times. I didn’t take the kid out with the intention of doing him in. It was not premeditated,” Henry told the court.

On June 25, 1968, Henry, who was already serving 10 years for the attempted murder of Howell, was sentenced to a consecutive seven year sentence for manslaughter in the death of Mortimore after pleading guilty. The jury did not leave the jury box before rendering their acceptance of the plea of the lesser charge.


Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

Name: Robert Wayne Mortimore
Age: 17
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July, 1967
Manner of Death: Stabbed, Blunt Force Trauma
Location: near Markham
Suspect Name: James Henry Greenidge, aka James Henry
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 7 years

Outrageous Acquittal

Gabriel Brunet's apartment building at 100 Maitland Street
Gabriel Brunet’s apartment building at 100 Maitland Street

On June 25, 1967, thirty-year-old Gabriel Brunet, a bartender, was murdered in his 100 Maitland Street home after being stabbed 50 times. Although his screams resonated throughout the building, no one went to his aid or called police.

Brunet’s nude body was found by his roommate, Rene Cote, 34, about 45 minutes after the attack, which police determined was around midnight. His was the 5th slaying in Toronto in three weeks. Brunet’s cat, which witnessed the assault, was captured and taken to a local animal shelter.

Gabriel Brunet's distressed cat by John McNeill, Globe and Mail
Gabriel Brunet’s distressed cat by John McNeill, Globe and Mail

A Toronto Star editorial, written June 27, 1967, said, “There is something appalling about such callous indifference to the torture and death of a fellow human being. It is also something relatively new… If this kind of indifference is the price of big city living it is too high a price – and indeed in the long run a fatal one. ”

Police reported the arrest of Dennis Henry Robertson, 23, on July 10. He was found in Calgary and was arrested by police there on another charge after walking into the police station to admit breaking into three homes. Calgary police thought he resembled the sketch issued by Toronto police, and they contacted their counterparts.

Toronto police interviewed Robertson. In his original police confession, Robertson said he asked Brunet for a bed, and then killed him “because he wouldn’t leave me alone.”

His trial for capital murder began on October 20, 1967, but the charge was reduced to non-capital murder by October 25. Robertson said that although he originally admitted killing Brunet to police, it was only because he was tired.

In court, Robertson admitted knowing Brunet and said he had been at the apartment on at least two previous occasions, but denied the murder, saying he was with a man and two women at the time of Brunet’s death.

On December 6, 1967, after nine hours of deliberation, the jury could not reach a verdict. The case was dismissed, and Robertson was tried again in February, 1968.

On February 10, 1968, Robertson was acquitted at his second trial because “he wasn’t cautioned properly by police before making a statement.” Mr. Justice Abraham Lieff of the Ontario Supreme Court directed the jury to acquit Robertson because Justice Lieff threw out the police confession, which formed the basis of the prosecution.

Justice Lieff did not blame the police for the way they took the statement, but said that, when Toronto homicide detectives arrived in Calgary to question him, they should have warned him to disregard his statements to Calgary police, and begin again.

As a result, Robertson was freed. Toronto Police consider the case closed.


Murder Village Map




Name: Gabriel Brunet
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Date of Death: June 25, 1967
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 100 Maitland St.
Suspect Name: Dennis Henry Robertson
Conviction & Sentence: Acquitted upon instruction of the Justice

Murder Then The Beach

Murder victim Ronald Grigor and his killer Glen John Seip

On July 16, 1963, Ronald John Grigor, a 30-year-old bank account, met and was murdered by Glen John Seip, just 15 at the time. Grigor was found dead in his Shelborne Ave. apartment two days later by police.

Grigor had taken Seip home and was murdered for his “homosexual advances,” according to Seip’s defense, which made Seip “crazy with fear”. Seip was in court described as “an old hand at homosexuality”.

Grigor’s murderer then stole his convertible, some clothing and headed with two female and one male friend to Kitchener and Wasaga Beach for two days of fun in the sand. Grigor’s friends would later testify that “Seip paid for gasoline with credit cards and for food with money he said he got ‘from a queer.'”

On November 29, 1963, Seip was found not guilty of “capital” murder, instead being found guilty of non-capital murder, after striking Grigor with a 2-foot wrench, 20 times. It was reported that Seip cried when he was sentenced to life in prison.

A finding of guilty of capital murder would have meant the death penalty for Seip. On July 14, 1976, Canada eliminated the death penalty.

Murder Village Map



vital statistics

Name: Ronald John Grigor
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July 16, 1963
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: Shelborne Avenue
Suspect Name: Glen John Seip
Conviction & Sentence: Non-capital murder, life in prison

Kew Beach Cruelty

Kew Beach photo by Toronto Daily Star
Kew Beach photo by Toronto Daily Star

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 murder.

Southerby, a 21-year-old man jobless from Windsor, met Hern in a Bay Street hotel tavern when they spent some time drinking together. The older man offered him a ride. Forty-seven-year-old Joseph John Osborne said he was with Hern that night at the tavern and witnessed Hern offer the ride to Southerby, who was seated at a nearby table. He said the men left shortly afterward in Hern’s car. Defense Counsel C.L. Dubin asked Osborne if Hern had “a reputation for picking up young men and taking them home?”

Osborne answered, “I have heard that he had that reputation.” When asked why he did not accept a ride from Hern, he said, “I’m getting old – I don’t stay out so late anymore.”

Murderer Harvey Southerby
Murderer Harvey Southerby

Mrs. Llewellyn Hern said her son was friendly and generous. She and cousin Lulu MacMillan said he had been warned that acting like a millionaire and being too generous could be dangerous. Both women said he frequently picked up men he had never met before and drove them around in his “sleek, expensive car.” Sometimes he would bring them to his parent’s home for the night or weekend.

On the weekend before his death, MacMillan said Hern had brought a young man home and they had spent a couple of days together driving around in Hern’s car, and at the Hern home. Mrs. Hern said her son’s companions were usually “up and away” before she saw them, but on occasion when she did see them, the men looked to her like “undesirable companions” for her son.

Southerby took up Hern on his offer of a ride and after the two headed out to Kew Beach, the men got friendlier when they went for a walk by Lake Ontario. Hern’s brutally beaten, pantless body would be found with a spike driven through his head. Despite his fancy clothes and expensive watch, he had only $50 on him when he was killed.

Pathologist Dr. W. Burry said Hern’s left eye was closed and his left cheek bone broken. “The blows caused a cerebral hemorrhage which caused his death.” There were numerous cuts “not caused by a fall,” and four teeth were knocked out of Hern’s plate.

Hern’s body was shoved under a boardwalk on Kew Beach, and found early the next morning by three beach goers. Montrealer Ralph Cragg, one of the men who found Hern, told the court he was out with two friends when they began looking for a place to escape the heat at 2 a.m. Just as they saw the body, he said Southerby came out of the darkness and told them “That’s my friend… he’s drunk.” Thinking they were leaving Hern to sleep off the alcohol, the three friends walked away and slept the night nearby at the foot of Kenilworth Avenue.

Sunrise was at 6:01 that morning, and it was Cragg who returned shortly after to the same spot. Hern was shoved beneath the boardwalk and Cragg ran immediately to call police.

Murderer Harvey Southerby - photo by Central Press Canadian
Murderer Harvey Southerby – photo by Central Press Canadian

Police found Southerby at a different Bay Street tavern just two days later sitting with Hern’s friend Osborne. He was placed in a police identification lineup for Cragg and his visiting friends, Marion and her brother, Herbert Nelson.

Police officials said the motive was robbery, and declined to comment on “other angles” they were working on.

On November 3, 1949, Southerby was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter. “You are extremely fortunate the jury did not convict you for murder as charged,” Justice Schroeder told him before passing sentence. “Your attack on Hern was brutal and could not be justified. But I must deal on the basis of the jury’s verdict.”

“This was not your first crime, but the others were comparatively minor. You have come from a good home, you have a kind and good father and mother, but you did not submit to their control,” Justice Schroeder said. “There is less excuse for you than for many boys who have maladjusted homes. You have given away to your own selfish whims and embarked on a life of crime. I think you are not beyond redemption.”

Murder Village Map


Vital Statistics

Name: Leslie William Gordon (Jack) Hern
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July 27, 1949
Manner of Death: Blunt force
Location: Kew Beach
Suspect Name: Harvey Southerby aka Louis Martinello
Conviction & Sentence: manslaughter, 10 years