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

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

Wayward in the Walsingham

Comfort Inn, where once the Walsingham Hotel, Toronto, stood
Comfort Inn, where once the Walsingham Hotel, Toronto, stood

High-school teacher Francis Desjarlais, known to police for his “homosexual tendencies,” was found beaten to death on July 17, 1966 in a $4 room at Toronto’s Walsingham Hotel at 321 Jarvis St. The Walsingham was part of a notorious section of Jarvis St. that included murder, prostitution and theft in various low-rent hotels.

Less than a month later, the police were offering a $2,000 reward for the killer of Desjarlais, 42. Desjarlais, who lived in Windsor, Ontario, often visited Toronto. Police knew on July 15 he had gone to The Bay House on Bay Street some time between 9:30p.m. and 10p.m. Police said he frequented “tenderloin” bars.

Photo of murder victim Francis Dejarlais
Photo of murder victim Francis Dejarlais

Desjarlais was brutally beaten with a chair, and “part of his throat was gouged out with a broken liquor bottle.” A man had been seen leaving his room the night before his body was found.

Police sketch of suspect in the murder of Francis Dejarlais
Police sketch of suspect in the murder of Francis Dejarlais

August 25, 1966, police announced the arrest of two men. Karl H. Frankl, 23 was arrested at the Bay House at 572 Bay St., and John Collins, 33, who was arrested in Sault Ste. Marie. Frankl and Collins were both charged with capital murder. Both men pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of non-capital murder, and both were eligible for parole after seven years.


Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

Name: Francis Desjarlais
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July 17, 1966
Manner of Death: Beaten and stabbed
Location: 321 Jarvis St.
Suspect Name: Karl H. Frankl and John Collins
Conviction & Sentence: Non-capital murder and parole after 7 years

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

From Ford to Farnham

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

Alexander Bakalis was 40 years old when he met Joseph Normandin, 20, at the Ford Hotel’s cocktail lounge on May 3, 1960. They each drank seven or eight bottles of beer, according to waiter John Markovitch. Bakalis, a clothing salesman, was found May 4 stabbed to death in his basement apartment on Farnham Avenue. He had 10 knife wounds in his back from a butcher knife.

Normandin was arrested immediately and charged with murder. His trail was held September 20-21, 1960, where he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Normandin said in court he knew Bakalis was gay and had wanted money from him. A psychiatrist described Normandin as pathological, with a desire to kill but with counselling was not beyond saving.

During the trial, the victim was described as “a homosexual, a class of man whose victims were generally boys [young men]. Bakalis had “perverted many boys,” until meeting up with Normandin, said defence lawyer Garry Braund.

He was sentenced to life in prison. “The sentence must act as a deterrent to others and as a protection to the public. Everybody should know they can’t take the law into their own hands,” said Justice F. H. Barlow.


Murder Village Map



Vital Statistics

Name: Alexander Bakalis
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Date of Death: May 3, 1960
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: Farnham Avenue
Suspect Name: Joseph Normandin
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, life in prison with no chance of parole