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

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

Two Against One

Black and white photo of Montreal (Wikipedia)
Montreal (Wikipedia)

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

Collins was suffocated with a plastic bag over her head by two ex-lovers. Donna Marie Turner, 37, and Marilyn Florence Arnesen, 34, who were each charged with first degree murder.

Collins was a truck driver. Arensen was a garbage collector and Turner did not work. Turner, under the name Lawlor, was sentenced to three years in prison for manslaughter in the death of her husband in 1977. Arensen had previous convictions for armed robbery.

Collins was reported occasionally sexually involved with the couple, and they socialized together. Arensen had previously been involved with Collins but Collins was frequently assaulted, and she left the relationship. Shortly after, Arensen lost custody of a child, and blamed Collins.

After murdering Collins, Arensen and Turner used Collins’ bank card and fled to Montreal. From there, they not only called police, they called numerous friends to tell them about the murder and at one point said they were sorry.

Arensen and Turner pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on December 18, 1987, while briefly holding hands in the prisoners’ box. Each was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years in the killing of the bisexual Collins.


Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

Name: Marlene Ann Collins
Age: 34
Gender: Female
Date of Death: September 5, 1987
Manner of Death: Suffocation
Location: Miller St.
Suspect Name: Donna Marie Turner and Marilyn Florence Arnesen
Conviction & Sentence: life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 year

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

Self-Defense Stabbing

Photograph of Centenary Hospital, Toronto
Photograph of Centenary Hospital, Toronto

Phillip Robert (Barbara) Filshie was murdered by his common-law wife, Joyce Lorraine Filshie, 47, in a domestic dispute on December 20, 1984.

Phillip had been seeing a doctor at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now named the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) for “a long time.” At the time, the Clarke was the only institution that could authorize government-funded sex reassignment surgery, and was considered archaic, unsupportive and sometimes outright hostile to people seeking gender reassignment.

Phillip, a 51-year-old warehouse manager who was transitioning from female to male, was stabbed in the chest in their Kingston Road townhouse and was dead on arrival at Centenary Hospital. Joyce faced second-degree murder.

Photograph of Clarke Institute Of Psychiatry Gender Identity Clinic By Mateen Mahboubi
Photograph of Clarke Institute Of Psychiatry Gender Identity Clinic By Mateen Mahboubi

Joyce said she did not intend to kill Phillip, but that during an argument Phillip began to hit her. She grabbed a knife in an attempt to keep Phillip at bay, and that when she turned, she accidentally punctured Phillip. She ran to the neighbour’s and pounded on their door, asking for help and shouting “Come quickly! I’ve stabbed Phil!”

When police arrived, they found Joyce in the kitchen with blood on her hands, crouched over Phillip.

During trial, Joyce said she and Phillip loved each other and lived as husband and wife. Defense lawyer Mike Moldaver argued that Joyce was defending herself from Phillip’s attack, and that her intent had not been to harm Phillip. They had been together since 1976.

Then defense lawyer, now Justice Mike Moldaver
Then defense lawyer, now Justice Mike Moldaver

Hillsdon Smith said “In 30 years experience, I’ve never convinced myself that I’ve ever seen an accidental knife wound.”

Their daughter, 29-year-old Cindy-Lou Thibodeau, said in court she was devastated to learn Joyce was not her natural mother, and was “still trying to deal” with the revelations that Phillip had once been female and was in fact her birth mother.

The jury deliberated less than three hours before acquitting Joyce. “Thank God, thank God,” Joyce said after being found not guilty.


Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

Name: Phillip Robert (Barbara) Filshie
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Date of Death: December 20, 1984
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: Kingston Road
Suspect Name: Joyce Lorraine Filshie
Conviction & Sentence: Acquitted

First Murder Of 1984

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

On the night of January 6, 1984, a lover’s triangle went very wrong for twenty-nine-year-old Christine Lavery Clifford. She was stabbed to death. Hers was the first murder of the year. Clifford was attacked in a ninth floor apartment of 31 Gilder Drive. She had been stabbed six times in the chest and back. She died while undergoing surgery at Scarborough General Hospital just a few hours later.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

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

Strangled For Shouting

Alcohol bottles

Martha Babb was 38 years old when her roommate, David Thomas Muir, 39, grabbed her by the throat and strangled her.

Babb and Muir often fought because Babb was a prostitute who would bring clients home.

Babb, also known as John Alfred McDonald, was murdered on December 10, 1983, in their apartment on Wilton Street after a night of heavy drinking and fighting. Babb was shouting at Muir and Muir strangled her with his hands to keep her quiet. When Babb went limp, Muir said he thought she was faking it, and put her into a bathtub filled with water. When Babb was not revived, he covered her in a blanket and threw cat litter on top, then went out to continue drinking.

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

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


Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

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

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

Nine Stab Wounds

Black and white photo of Toronto skyline

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

Paul Maurice Monette, 32, told police that McIntyre instructed some people to beat him up. In a subsequent argument, they had a fight. “He was cursing at me and I went into the bedroom and he would not shut up so I stabbed him.”

Monette lived on Gifford St.


Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

Name: James Francis McIntyre
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Date of Death: March 18, 1979
Manner of Death: Stabbing
Location: Gifford St.
Suspect Name: Paul Maurice Monette
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, sentence unknown