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

Bathtub Murder

Black and white image of crime scene of Gracie Detzler
280 Dundas Street East

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

Detzler and Craig met while both people were serving long term penitentiary sentences. Detzler was described as a repeat offender when she was sentenced on November 28, 1990, for stabbing a man who refused to have sex with her.

Craig was originally charged with first-degree murder in Detzler’s death, however, Justice Harry Keenan of the Ontario Court’s General Division directed an acquittal on that charge, and the jury accepted Craig’s plea of guilty to manslaughter. Justice Keenan had been advised that Craig had spent his entire adult life in prison or on parole. He had been out of prison just three weeks before murdering Detzler. Keenan declared Craig was “a danger to society,” but reduced the charges. He was sentenced to 10 years.

The Justice did not allow the jury to hear a police statement that Craig admitted Detzler was handcuffed at the time of the attack. However, the jury did hear of Craig’s previous violent attack, nearly fatal, on a male lover.

On December 23, at the end of Craig’s trial, he shouted “You’re next, you @%#$$# pig!” to Detective Sergeant Michael David, the arresting homicide officer. He continued yelling expletives at other officials and struggled with guards as he was escorted from the courtroom.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Gracie (James Edward) Detzler
Age: 54
Gender: Female
Date of Death: May 28, 1997
Manner of Death: Drowned
Location: 280 Dundas Street East
Suspect Name: Steven Todd Craig
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 10 years

Double Homicide

Black and white photo of 807 College Street
photo of 807 College Street

A double homicide took the lives of John Clarke, 40 and Clayton Russell, 60 when they were stabbed in their shared 807 College St. apartment on January 29, 1996. Police believe they had both been out at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning, but were found in their bachelor apartment the next day.

“There’s no question it’s a horrific crime. It seems to lack any kind of motive,” said homicide Det. Rolf Prisor who was investigating the murders.

Black and white photo of murder victim John Clarke
John Clarke
Black and white photo of murder victim Clayton Russell
Clayton Russell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell was the building superintendent, and lived with Clarke, who was unemployed at the time, in their first-floor apartment. Russell was separated from his wife but they continued to celebrate wedding anniversaries together. It was widely rumoured that Russell was inclined to keep large sums of money at home.

On September 5, 2001, after drinking heavily with friend Daniel MacKenzie, the killer admitted to his friend he had killed the men, but provided no additional details to him.

Exactly seven years after the murders, on January 29, 2003, Mikeal James Russell, a 40-year-old cousin of victim Clayton Russell, appeared in court charged with two murder. He faced two charges of second-degree murder.

On April 14, 2004, Mikeal Russell applied for bail. Mikeal was married and had a five-year-old son. Although he had previous convictions, including one for sexual assault, “he has been out of trouble for the last eight years.” Justice J. Dambrot released Mikeal on $50,000 bail.

During the trial, Mikeal said his uncle had sexually abused him from ages 10 to 13. On January 7 2005, Mikeal was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in jail. Judge Frank Caputo said the molestation was a mitigating factor in the sentencing.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Names and Ages: John Clarke, 40 and Clayton Russell, 60
Genders: Male
Date of Deaths: January 29, 1996
Manner of Deaths: Stabbed
Location: 807 College St.
Suspect Name: Mikeal James Russell
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 10 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

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

Stabbed Sixty-Four Times

Black and white photo of murder victim David Madden
Black and white photo of Constables Stillwell and Ryta
Constables Stillwell and Ryta

Twenty-two-year-old David Madden was an X-ray technician at a chiropractic clinic who had moved into a new Scarborough apartment just three weeks before his death.

On March 19, 1988, Michael Edwin Linhart, 29, stabbed Madden 64 times including in the heart. His body was found by his roommate in their Prudential Drive apartment. Police said there was “lots of blood” in the apartment, and a knife which Madden had brought with him was found on scene.

Black and white photo of murder victim David Madden

Linhart left his bloodied clothes at the scene, and left wearing Madden’s clothes, and taking his wallet, some jewellery and a Jeep.

Linhart had stolen Madden’s 1986 Jeep and parked it in the parking garage at the Eaton Centre. Linhart was a hair stylist and part-time prostitute whom Madden had picked up on Grosvenor Street. He had a criminal history of robbery and assault.

Linhart’s roommate who also worked as a male prostitute, told police who was responsible for the murder, and where they could find him. Police arrested Linhart in his Sherbourne St. home and charged him with second-degree murder.

Linhart pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no change of parole for 12 years.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: David Madden
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Date of Death: March 19, 1988
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: Prudential Drive
Suspect Name: Michael Edwin Linhart
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, life in prison with no chance of parole for 12 years

Dispute Leads To Death

Black and white photo of payphone

A fight over which side of the floor cushions they would sleep on, cost Charles Robert Welbanks, 38, his life. Welbanks’ on-and-off lover of eight years, John Ralph Taylor, 46, stabbed him four times in the heart over the dispute on February 6, 1988.

Welbanks, whom police thought was a woman because of the clothing he was wearing, had been drinking with Taylor when they got into a disagreement over which side of the cushions on the floor of their Queen Street West and Dowling Avenue apartment they would sleep on. Taylor grabbed a knife and stabbed Welbanks, then cradled him in his arms calling out to him. Upon getting no response from Welbanks, Taylor licked the blood off his hands and went to tell friends in the building that Welbanks was dead.

Taylor then went to his mother’s home, who lived nearby, and told her he had killed Welbanks. He then ran to a payphone and called police. “I had a silly argument with my lover. I have nothing to hide. I killed my lover, I don’t know why,” he said.

Taylor had a long history of bank robberies and property offences. He was charged with second-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on February 13, 1989. He was sentenced to six years in prison.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Charles Robert Welbanks
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Date of Death: February 6, 1988
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: Queen St. West
Suspect Name: John Ralph Taylor
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, six years in prison

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.

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

Cold Case Resolved

Advertisement for Boots, a Toronto gay bar
Advertisement for Boots, a Toronto gay bar

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

His body would be discovered in his apartment at 35 High Park Avenue by his roommate shortly before noon that day beaten and stabbed to death. His body was found in the bathroom.

Black and white photo of murder victim Graham Pearce
murder victim Graham Pearce

Police began talking to street hustlers and homeless men in the area, and squad officer Sgt. Brian Raybould said a number of men were under investigation.

The case would go cold for more than 30 years, until family urged police to look again with newer procedures and technology for evidence and fingerprints.

On April 16, 2016, police sent out a media release asking friends or associates of Pearce to contact them. During their investigation, police had identified Ronald Thomas Gale, 22 at the time of the murder, as a Person of Interest, but only after his death in 2001. Gale was also “a member of the gay community,” was known to police and had his fingerprints on file.

On January 16, 2017, police declared Pearce’s murder “resolved.”

“A forensic re-examination of the evidence in 2014, and subsequent investigation into the background and history of [Gale] had led us to this conclusion,” said Det. Sgt. Stacy Gallant. Gallant explained that murder cases are not closed unless there is a verdict, but the Pearce case “is no longer being investigated because we believe the person responsible for the murder is deceased.” Gale was not suspected in any other murders.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Graham Hugh Pearce
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Date of Death: March 20, 1983
Manner of Death: Beaten and stabbed
Location: 35 High Park Avenue
Suspect Name: Ronald Thomas Gale
Conviction & Sentence: died before arrest

Hammer and Electrical Cord

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

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

Google black and white photo of Brimley Acres
Brimley Acres

Pathologists believe strangulation via the electrical cord is what killed Murphy.

Murphy had met his killers in Allan Gardens and had unknowingly invited the would-be murderers to his home.

David Clarence Marshall Thompson, 32, and Lloyd Edward Wilson, 38, both of Kingston, were charged with second-degree murder. Thompson had escaped from prison where he was serving time for two robberies, when he committed the murder. Wilson had been released from prison just three weeks prior to the murder.

Black and white photo of murder victim David Murphy

Wilson had confessed in a five-page statement to police on November 19, almost a month after Thompson was arrested. A psychologist testified in court that Wilson had a “pathological dependency” on Thompson, and Wilson said he confessed only to get Thompson “off the hook”.

Madame Justice Janet Boland of the Ontario Supreme Court noted that neither Thompson nor Wilson showed any remorse. “I have considered the gruesome details of the grisly event. This was not a killing but an execution,” she said.

Wilson was sentenced to life for second-degree murder.

Thompson was also found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: David Murphy
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Date of Death: June 28, 1981
Manner of Death: Strangulation and blunt force trauma
Location: 2950 Lawrence Avenue East
Suspect Name: David Clarence Marshall Thompson and Lloyd Edward Wilson
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, life in prison

Murderous Love

The Church of the Holy Apostles photo by Beyond My Ken.
The Church of the Holy Apostles photo by Beyond My Ken. This church performed gay “wedding” ceremonies in the 1970s.

David Albert Manship once loved James MacDonald so much, he deliberately tried to get sent to jail just to be with MacDonald. But on April 8, 1979, Manship, 36, killed MacDonald, 35, in his King Street West apartment.

Manship said the two had a tumultuous relationship that began 15 years previously. During the Christmas season of 1973, the two men went to New York City to get “married” at a chapel which performed ceremonies for gay people.

Manship and MacDonald both had extensive criminal records, and had met in 1960 in prison. They were released, and they moved to Calgary where they committed additional crimes. After robbing a store with a gun, both were sentenced but Manship was paroled first. Manship left the province and returned to report himself for breach of parole, just so he would be jailed again with MacDonald.

On April 9, 1979, Manship went to a lawyer and advised him of where to find MacDonald’s body.

Manship had shot MacDonald once with a sawed-off .22 calibre rifle. MacDonald was found by police lying on his back with a pillow under his head and blanket over him. When police arrived, they arrested Manship and charged him with second-degree murder.

During the trial, Manship was represented by well-known criminal lawyer Edward Greenspan. Manship pleaded guilty to manslaughter on January 30, 1980 and was sentenced to nine years in jail.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: James MacDonald
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Date of Death: April 8 1979
Manner of Death: Shot
Location: King Street West
Suspect Name: David Albert Manship
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, nine years

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

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