Ex-Priest Murdered

Black and white photo of 40 Homewood Avenue where Anthony Bennett was murdered
40 Homewood Avenue where Anthony Bennett was murdered

In 1989, Anthony Patrick Bennett pleaded guilty to one charge of gross indecency related to sex abuse of a minor male. The judge found Bennett, then an ordained priest with the Archdiocese of St. John’s Newfoundland, did not require custody, and Bennett was given two years probation. The Church identified Bennett as a homosexual, not a pedophile, as the minor male was in his teens. Bennett left the priesthood and made his way to Toronto.

Once settled in Toronto, Bennett worked as a crisis counsellor, also known as a psychiatric nurse, for people with mental health issues. On August 17, 2000, Bennett, 45, was found dead in his home at 40 Homewood Avenue. He had been stabbed in the neck with a steak knife.

A man tried to use Bennet’s credit card at a convenience store. At the time, all credit card transactions required a signature, and this man’s did not match the one on the card. A security guard attempted to arrest the man, but he managed to flee. Bennett’s wallet, computer, money, and jewellery were also missing from his home. Police advised media they were concerned for the safety of runaway Lindsay Faulkner who was accompanying their suspect.

Murderer Steven Allan Earley and runaway Lindsay Faulkner
Murderer Steven Allan Earley and runaway Lindsay Faulkner

On September 8, 2000, police arrested Steven Allan Earley, 23, near Yonge and Wellesley Sts. for robbing another man. He was remanded in custody and charged with the first-degree murder of Bennett after he confirmed with police he had committed the murder.

Before he was arrested, Earley had told an acquaintance, “I killed somebody. I can’t believe I killed somebody, man. I just, I cut his throat and I just left him. I locked the door and left.” The two men had known each other and there was no forced entry into Bennett’s home.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Anthony Patrick Bennett
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Date of Death: August 17, 2000
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 40 Homewood Ave.
Suspect Name: Steven Allan Earley
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, no chance of parole for 15 years

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

Eccentric Man Murdered

Courtroom sketch by Alex Tavshunksky for the Toronto Star
Courtroom sketch by Alex Tavshunksky for the Toronto Star

July 7, 1999 was seventy-two-year-old Hugh Sinclair’s last day alive. Sinclair was murdered in his 42nd-storey apartment at 44 Charles Street West in the Manulife Centre. His murderer would be convicted before his body was found.

Black and white photo of murder victim Hugh Sinclair
Murder victim Hugh Sinclair

Sinclair was a retired Sun Life insurance company employee and an avid antiques collector. He met Timothy Culham, 29, five years previously and shared with him a love of art and antiques.

Sinclair was described as eccentric and an “antique hoarder.” He was known for wearing a Panama hat with tank top and shorts regardless of the season, and for keeping a regimented daily routines. It was the break in these routines that caught people’s attention.

Sinclair was a talkative man who was known to sit in a lawn chair beside a nearby parking kiosk and talk incessantly for hours with attendant Rod McEwan. After almost daily visits for five years, McEwan became so concerned with Sinclair’s sudden absence, he convinced the Manulife Centre security guard to come with him to perform a safety check. On July 12, the guard and McEwan entered Sinclair’s apartment but found nothing amiss. McEwan telephoned the apartment daily and filed a missing person report with police.

A few days after it is believed Sinclair died, neighbour Douglas Rutter, who had once worked in a cemetery as a youth, passed by the apartment that he thought smelled badly. “I told [partner Lawrence Schafer] it smells like something died; I recognized that smell,” he said at trial. However, the smell eventually vanished.

Eleven days after Sinclair’s death, Culham was spotted by the same neighbours moving out furniture. On July 18, he told Schafer and Rutter that he was Sinclair’s nephew and that Sinclair had asked him to do a favour to move some items out, and paint the apartment. Culham had gained access to the apartment “by using a forged note.”

Parking attendant McEwan continued to check for Sinclair and was eventually told by the building’s front desk personnel that Sinclair was away on holiday for 10 days. The next time he called, McEwan was told the police were involved.

Fortunately for police, Culham did not paint the apartment. However, he was arrested under suspicion of theft after police discovered he had sold many of Sinclair’s antiques to Toronto dealers. He was arrested as he slept on a park bench, and police found an electronic key to Sinclair’s apartment in his pocket. Culham had tens of thousands of dollars in cheques from local antique dealers in his pockets.

Murderer Timothy Culham
Murderer Timothy Culham

Sinclair’s blood was found smeared on the stove, kitchen floor and inside the front closet. Police matched the blood to DNA taken from Sinclair’s electric razor.

Culham rented a 1987 blue Chevrolet Cavalier five days after the murder and, police believed, transported Sinclair’s body to an area outside Toronto. Culham was known to frequent Casino Rama, in Orillia, and it was one of the areas, along with Nottawa, that police would focus their search on. The Crown argued Culham had a gambling addiction, and had killed Sinclair to steal his antiques and sell them. Police estimated the value of recovered items was about $300,000.

When arrested, Culham denied knowing Sinclair.

Police did not find Sinclair’s body, nor a murder weapon, before Culham’s trial, but based on other evidence, charged Culham with first-degree murder. Police asked that hikers and hunters keep an eye out for the body, saying it was likely within 50 metres of a road, would likely be burned, and a gas can would probably be nearby. Eventually police found the gas can and hacksaw with an associate of Culham’s whom he told he would not need the items anymore.

The defence suggested that Sinclair may have committed suicide, and questioned Dr. Erik Kotzer, Sinclair’s physician, if he had concerns that Sinclair killed himself. Dr. Kotzer said he was treating Sinclair for a variety of ailments including a 30-year addiction to Vallium, but had not heard anything regarding suicidal thoughts. Culham did not speak during the trial.

On June 14, 2001, with just two days of deliberation, the jury found Culham guilty of first-degree murder. Culham was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Just before Christmas, 2002, some of Sinclair’s remains were found near a highway by a land surveyor. His skull and other body parts were discovered in Utica, off Highway 12 between Toronto and Orillia. Dental records were used to confirm Sinclair’s identity but due to the deterioration of the remains, forensic examiners were not able to determine a cause of death.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Hugh Sinclair
Age: 72
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July 7, 1999
Manner of Death: unknown
Location: 44 Charles St. West
Suspect Name: Timothy Culham
Conviction & Sentence: First-degree murder, life in prison with eligibility for parole after 25 years

Killer Confession

Black and white photo of murder victim Larry Arnold
Murder victim Larry Arnold

On the evening of October 14, 1994, 46-year-old Larry Arnold disappeared.

Arnold was last seen at Trax V (aka Traxx), a gay bar at 529 Yonge Street in the company of a young white man, about 25-years-old, stocky at 200 lbs, about 5’8”, with long blond curly hair and blue eyes, and having a French Canadian accent. Arnold called a friend and said he would be coming over that evening.

Arnold, who lived in Chatham, a town 300 km southwest of Toronto, often came to Toronto to visit friends and go to bars and restaurants in Toronto’s gay district, Church and Wellesley Sts.

On November 19, when his badly beaten body was found in a nearby Rosedale ravine. The ravine at Roxborough Dr. and Mt. Pleasant Rd., was sometimes used by gay men at night for sexual encounters. Police had to use dental records to identify the body.

Search by investigators in 1994 for Larry Arnold's personal effects, photo by CBC
Search by investigators in 1994 for Larry Arnold’s personal effects, photo by CBC

Police believed the killer may have been a male prostitute and are rumoured to have consulted with police agencies across North America as they suspected the man may have been responsible for other murders of gay men. It was also reported that police considered whether there was a link between Arnold’s death and sexual assaults on gay men in the Church and Wellesley Sts. Area.

Search for Larry Arnold's personal effects, photo by Mike Slaughter, 1994
Search for Larry Arnold’s personal effects, photo by Mike Slaughter, 1994

It would be four long years before his killer, Paul Alan Hachey, would be caught. Hachey’s DNA was found on a cigarette butt at a 1997 crime scene in North Bay, and police used it to link Hachey to multiple sexual assaults and a North Bay murder. After his arrest, Hachey confessed to murdering Larry Arnold. He pleaded guilty to second degree murder.

Black and white photo of murderer Paul Alan Hachey
Photo of murderer Paul Alan Hachey

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital statistics

Name:  Larry Arnold
Age:  46
Gender: Male
Date of Death: October 14, 1994
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: Roxborough Dr. and Mt. Pleasant Rd.
Suspect Name: Paul Alan Hachey
Conviction & Sentence: Pleaded guilty to second degree murder, sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 15 years

Comedian Murdered

1991 Honda motorcycle
A photo of a 1991 Honda motorcycle

On March 24, 1991, Michael Henry Vadeboncoeur, 42, was stabbed to death in his home at 7 Hilltop Road. Vadeboncoeur was a former CBC radio comic called Boncoeur. He was found with multiple stab wounds in a blood-splattered apartment. A 16-year-old youth arrested two weeks later and charged with first-degree murder in his death, and a 15-year-old was co-accused.

Both youths could not be named due to the restrictions of the Young Offenders Act. However, the 16-year-old was later tried as an adult and his name was released to the media during trial: Adam Blake Harris. The 15-year-old was not named.

Black and white photo of Michael VadeBoncouer
Murder victim Michael Vadeboncoeur

Harris was arrested at a C.M. Hinks treatment centre in Clarksburg. He was a resident at C.M. Hinks, a centre for “disturbed children,” later to become part of the SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health. Like Harris, the 15-year-old was also absent without leave from the treatment centre.

Harris and Vadeboncoeur once had a sexual relationship, and the two teenagers created the plan to rob Vadeboncoeur.

Police said robbery appeared to be the motive for the slaying: Vadeboncoeur’s Honda motorcycle, which was stolen, was later found at Jarvis and Parliament Streets. Other property was taken.

Vadeboncoeur bled to death after being stabbed in the neck. Harris had turned 16 just three weeks prior to the murder.

The victim’s “most precious possession – his life – was taken from him by the accused on more or less a whim,” said Justice Nicholson McRae during the February 22, 1994 sentencing trial. The Crown prosecutor said it was a “senseless killing of a talented and caring person who is deeply missed by his family and friends.”

Paul Willis (left) and Michael VadeBoncoeur on a Queen Victoria Statue - photo by Dick Darrell, 1968
Paul Willis (left) and Michael VadeBoncoeur on a Queen Victoria Statue – photo by Dick Darrell, 1968

The defense offered no evidence, although it was brought up at trial that Harris had been receiving treatment since his adoption at the age of 3. The judge found it was Harris who did the actual stabbing.

Harris was found guilty of first-degree and sentenced to life in prison. He was ordered to serve 7 ½ years (5 years is the minimum permitted for youth tried in adult court) before being eligible for parole. Because Harris spent nearly three years in pre-trial custody, he would be able to apply for parole as early as 1999. His first two years were to be served in a provincial reformatory and then he would be sent to a federal penitentiary.

The 15-year-old was earlier found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to incarceration and probation totaling three years.

Well-known B.C. cartoonist Lynn Johnston, who had become friends with Vadeboncoeur as a teenager, named the Patterson son Michael, after Vadeboncoeur. Johnston was upset that, at the time of the murder, much of the media focused on Vadeboncoeur’s sexuality rather than his accomplishments and personality. In memory of Vadeboncoeur, Johnston had one of her cartoon strip characters, Lawrence, come out as gay. “Well, Michael, this is for you.”

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Michael Henry Vadeboncoeur
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Date of Death: March 24, 1991
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 7 Hilltop Road
Suspect Name: Adam Blake Harris, and an unnamed 15-year-old male
Conviction & Sentence: Harris was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 7 ½ years. The unnamed youth found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to incarceration and probation totaling three years.

Shot In The Head

Black and white photo of murderer Ronald Arthur Cooney

Fifty-one-year-old Norman John Cardwell was last seen on February 11, 1991, in the late afternoon, near the rear of his car. Witnesses said he was alone. He had just finished a 4pm appointment with his bank manager. Cardwell, who lived at at 9 Thorncliffe Avenue, had moved there about 20 years previously, and was recently divorced. He had two children.

On February 13, 1991, police were called to Cardwell’s home, where they found him shot in the head. Family and friends had reported to police that he failed to show up for work.

Black and white photo of murder victim Norman Cardwell

Within two weeks, police released clear images of a man’s face, photographed near the Cardwell home, apparently from a bank machine camera. By March 25, police had arrested a Cleethorpes Boulevard man, 28-year-old Ronald Arthur Cooney and remanded him in custody. He was charged with first-degree murder.

Cardwell had seen Cooney’s personal ad in the back of NOW magazine seeking male companionship. Cooney went to Cardwell’s home during the evening of February 11, and for unknown reasons pulled his gun and shot Cardwell in the head multiple times before robbing him and fleeing.

Later, Cooney was drinking in a bar in Belleville when had admitted to a friend that he had killed someone. “I shot him four times.”

Cooney withdrew $300 from bank machines using Cardwell’s credit card, initially saying in court it was Darryl Marsh, a high school friend, who had killed Cardwell and given him the card. Cooney used the cash to buy everyday items including roses for his girlfriend, an exotic dancer.

Marsh died of an acetaminophen overdose two months after the murder, at the bottom of the Scarborough Bluffs.

Scarborough Bluffs photo by Alan Dunlop
Scarborough Bluffs photo by Alan Dunlop, 1985

In court, it was suggested that Cooney was bisexual and took out ads in NOW magazine specifically targeting closeted gay men. Throughout the entire trial, Cooney insisted the now-dead Marsh had committed the murder with a gun stolen from Cooney and that the NOW ad was made by him on Marsh’s behalf.

The jury took three days to find Cooney guilty of manslaughter, not first-degree murder, in the killing of Cardwell. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. In passing sentence, Madame Justice Patricia German said the manslaughter verdict was only an indication that the Crown had not proven beyond reasonable doubt that Cooney had ever been to Cardwell’s home.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Norman John Cardwell
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Date of Death: February 11, 1991
Manner of Death: Shot
Location: 9 Thorncliffe Ave
Suspect Name: Ronald Arthur Cooney
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 12 years

Hairdresser Homicide

3 Gifford Drive, where DaCosta was murdered

Hairdresser Derek George Dacosta, 33, was strangled on the night of December 5, 1990 after an apparent robbery gone bad. Dacosta had told friends of plans to travel home to Trinidad to visit his parents for Christmas. Stolen from his 3 Gifford St. home were a television, VCR and audio cassette player. He was the city’s 54th homicide of the year.

Black and white photo of murder victim Derek Dacosta

A co-worker became concerned when Dacosta did not show up for work at the Yonge and Bloor hair salon. She had last seen him on December 4 at about 11 p.m. Another friend told police Dacosta had gone to a Church St. bar. Police were called to the scene.

Less than two weeks later, on December 18, police announced they had charged 24-year-old John William McLean of no fixed address, after he walked into 51 Division police station on December 15 and confessed. McLean told police he became enraged by Dacosta’s sexual advance and claimed it was self-defence.

McLean was sentenced to five years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Derek George Dacosta
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Date of Death: December 5, 1990
Manner of Death: Strangled
Location: 3 Gifford St.
Suspect Name: John William McLean
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, 5 years

On A Rampage

40 Homewood where Michael Boley was murdered

Revenue Canada tax auditor Michael Boley, 56, was found dead on April 14, 1990. He was tied, fully-clothed, spread-eagle on his bed in his Homewood Avenue condominium. Four days later, police arrested Rodney William Glode, 24, of no fixed address, in his murder.

Boley was a long-time resident of 40 Homewood Avenue, which has extremely tight security including cameras. His body was discovered by an elderly disabled woman whom Boyle had cared for, for many years.

Glode had gone on “a four-week rampage against homosexuals that culminated in the death of a victim”, said reporter Thomas Claridge. Prosecutor Sandy Kingston described Glode as a dangerous person “who must be removed from society for a very long time.” Glode had attacked six other gay men during his rampage, and all seven victims had been bound, gagged and robbed. Boley is the only one who died.

Glode’s first victim, a bartender who invited him to go for drinks after hours, was attacked on March 18, 1990. He spent six weeks in hospital and was so badly head injured he has permanent balance problems. Glode’s other victims, all gay men offering money for sex, were attacked between March 20 and April 12. In most cases, the victims agreed to have their hands tied, but not to being foot-bound or gagged.

While in jail, Glode bragged to an undercover police officer he “robbed a faggot and he died. It was my luck he had a bad heart,” and that he was planning on returning to the building to steal more items.

An autopsy showed Boley had died of asphyxiation as a result of having a shirt, belt and tie used as a gag.

On May 16, 1991, Glode pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Boley’s death, and to three robberies in which each victim suffered serious and permanent injuries. Glode was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years for Boley’s murder, and a concurrent 10-year sentence for the robberies.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Michael Boley
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Date of Death: April 14, 1990
Manner of Death: Asphyxiation
Location: 40 Homewood Ave
Suspect Name: Rodney William Glode
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder with no chance of parole for 17 years

15 Minutes To Murder

Headlines on the murder of Paul Lopes Monte De Ramos and subsequent trial
Headlines on the murder of Paul Lopez Monte De Ramos and subsequent trial

Paul Lopez Monte-de-Ramos, 38, was strangled to death and stabbed in the early morning hours of April 14, 1987, in a Sherbourne Street apartment. Previously, Monte-de-Ramos had lived with his killer.

James Douglas Brenn, 26, of no fixed address, was charged with first degree murder. Brenn pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but the Crown refused the plea bargain. Crown prosecutor Sarah Welch said Brenn had planned the murder, and that Monte-de-Ramos’s death “was not a quick one.” She estimated it took Brenn 15 minutes to strangle Monte-de-Ramos, who bled from the mouth and nose during the struggle.

After manually strangling Monte-de-Ramos, Brenn wrapped a towel around his neck, dragged him to a sink and stabbed him 29 times in the chest and abdomen. Brenn fled the scene with Monte-de-Ramos’s credit cards and used them to make purchases.

Brenn confessed to his sister, and she called police about where they would find Monte-de-Ramos. Brenn told her Monte-de-Ramos was “a parasite who was living on borrowed time.” She told police they would find a note on the door. Police located a note which read “Be back May 3/87, Paul.” It had Brenn’s fingerprints on it.

Brenn was arrested at the bus depot as he was attempting to flee to Montreal.

During the trial, Brenn blamed Monte-de-Ramos for coming on to him. He said he was in a “homosexual panic” which caused him to strangle and stab Monte-de-Ramos. Psychiatrist Dr. Robert Hill said he believed Brenn was a psychopath who reacted violently and impulsively, and who showed no remorse for his crime. He said Brenn could kill again because “that’s what he wants to do.”

Prosecutor Sarah Welch said Brenn felt a sense of satisfaction and perhaps even sexual arousal, killing Monte-de-Ramos. He was found guilty of second-degree murder.

On November 17, 1988, Brenn was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Paul Lopez Monte-de-Ramos
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Date of Death: April 14, 1987
Manner of Death: Strangled and stabbed
Location: 251 Sherbourne Street
Suspect Name: James Douglas Brenn
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years

Mark Of The Beast

Black and white photo of murder victim Peter Ager

Grade 8 teacher Peter Lawrence Ager was 1985’s fifty-fifth homicide of the year. He was killed December 14, 1985, and found a few days later after a neighbour who noticed newspapers piling up in the apartment building hallway, and notified police.

Ager, 31, was last seen attending a party at the Westbury Hotel and may have arrived home to his Carlton St. apartment at 2 a.m. on the Saturday. Ager was stabbed in the left lung after struggling with someone in the apartment. Money was missing.

Westbury Hotel, now the Courtyard Marriott, where Peter Ager was last seen
Westbury Hotel, now the Courtyard Marriott, where Peter Ager was last seen

17-year-old Brian Joseph Chakasim, who originally could not be named under the Young Offender’s Act but who was eventually tried as an adult, turned himself in a month after the murder and was charged with first-degree murder. Media noted this was the fourth gay teacher to be murdered in two years.

Chakasim and Ager had met a few weeks previously and had begun to socialize together.

Black and white photo of Murderer Brian Joseph Chakasim
Murderer Brian Joseph Chakasim

The court acknowledged that it was not known if Chakasim and Ager had sexual relations, but it was known that Ager was asleep while Chakasim was awake watching television and playing with a knife. Chakasim went into the bedroom, stabbed the bed several times and then stabbed Ager in the back and arm. He stayed in the room for some time after the murder.

Chakasim was 18 when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. A psychiatric report said he “remains a real hazard to the community in general and particularly to anyone immediately around him who might frustrate his needs.”


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Peter Lawrence Ager
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Date of Death: December 14, 1985
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: Carlton St.
Suspect Name: Brian Joseph Chakasim
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 15 years

 

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.

Car and Cash Stolen

Black and white photo of 5600 Sheppard Avenue East

Forty-seven-year-old Kevin Lionel McBride advertised for a roommate for his 5600 Sheppard Avenue East apartment. Police believe a man responding to that ad on Saturday May 15, 1982, is the one who murdered him.

McBride had moved to Canada from Australia 17 years before his death, and had a thriving career as an interior decorator and an antique dealer.

Black and white photo of murder victim Kevin McBride

McBride had worked for 10 years creating window displays for Lizanne, a fabric store chain in Toronto.

McBride, who was considered a very punctual man, failed to show for a dinner date on Monday May 17, with friends. The friends went to McBride’s apartment superintendent and convinced him to open the door to his apartment.

McBride was found, fully clothed, stabbed to death on his living room floor.

Police were called and found him stabbed multiple times in both the front and back of the upper torso. His car and credit cards had been stolen.

In June, 1982, two men used one of McBride’s credit cards multiple times in Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan after the murder, but they were not caught.

Witnesses described the man using the credit card as being in his mid 20s to early 30s, white, 6’2″ with dark brown wavy hair. A composite drawing of the taller suspect and a $10,000 reward did not help police solve the crime.

Police composite sketch of suspect in Kevin McBride's murder
Police composite sketch of suspect in Kevin McBride’s murder

Media at the time criticized police for offer $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of McBride’s killer, but a $25,000 reward for the killer of Toronto Argonauts cheerleader Jennifer Isford, found two months later. “Some cases are more deserving of a higher reward,” Metro Police Chief Jack Ackroyd told the Toronto Globe and Mail.

McBride’s car, a black 1979 Oldsmobile 98 with wire wheel covers, red interior and a sun roof, was found months later, on September 22, in Rochester, Minnesota. His killer or killers have not been found.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Kevin Lionel McBride
Age: 47
Gender: Male
Date of Death: May 17, 1982
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 5600 Sheppard Avenue East
Suspect Name: unknown

One Night, Three Murders

Photo by Jim Wilkes, Toronto Star
Photo by Jim Wilkes, Toronto Star

When Ottawa police stopped a vehicle for running an amber light, they had no idea they would arrest a triple-homicide suspect.

Twenty-six-year-old Joseph Norbert Perceval Courville handed over ownership papers when requested. When Courville could not account for having the car of another man, nor for the stereo and other items in the car, police became suspicious. The car was registered to Darryl Lyle Turner of 18 Virginia Avenue, Toronto. After he was taken in to custody, Ottawa police asked Toronto police to contact the car owner.

When police arrived at Turner’s home on May 4, 1982, there was no answer. Police forced the door open and found the bodies of Turner, 45, Joseph Eli Isaac, 44 and Charles Roy Tanti, 27. The house had been ransacked. Isaac was found in the bedroom, and Turner and Tanti were found in the basement of the house. All men were partially clothed. It is believed they died some time on May 3.

Police said only Turner was gay, and that the other men were not, but rented rooms from him. Turner had rented the house since 1970.

Neighbours reported that the men were nighthawks and that people often arrived in the early morning hours. “There were always cabs pulling up at all hours of the morning and different people getting out. I thought they were bootlegging or dealing in dope, or something,” said neighbour Joseph Gulyas.

Photo by Erik Christensen Globe and Mail
Photo by Erik Christensen Globe and Mail

Another neighbour said the men often entertained male friends on a regular basis. “There were so many guys in and out of there it was hard to keep track of them,” the neighbour told media. However, the men were generally considered polite, well-dressed and friendly .

Courville met Turner at a bar and went home with him in the hopes of getting money. “Faggots, they help you if you ask them,” he said. Courville said he hated gay men and got angry when Turner made a pass at him. “Everything went crazy,” he said.

Turner murderer Joseph Courville by Tony Bock 1982
Turner murderer Joseph Courville by Tony Bock 1982

Courville attacked Turner and tied him up, then tied up Tanti, by tying their ankles and wrists to their necks, causing the bonds to tighten around their necks as they struggled to get free. When Isaac tried to intervene, he was stabbed nine times in the chest. Tanti and Turner died of suffocation, although Tanti had marks on his neck that indicated he was also strangled.

After his arrest, Courville admitted he did not even know the men’s names, and said “I’m a loony.” When placed in the back of a police cruiser, Courville spontaneously confessed, shouting, “I’m a murderer!”

Courville pleaded guilty to murdering all three men and was sentenced to life in prison.

On September 17, 1982, Chief Justice Gregory Evans ordered that Courville serve a minimum of 15 years before being eligible for parole.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Darryl Lyle Turner
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Date of Death: May 3, 1982
Manner of Death: Suffocation by strangulation
Location: 18 Virginia Avenue
Suspect Name: Joseph Norbert Perceval Courville
Conviction & Sentence: Life sentence, no parole for 15 years

You Killed For That?

College St. YMCA front counter photo by Mike Slaughter, Toronto Star
College St. YMCA front counter photo by Mike Slaughter, Toronto Star

James Edward Downing, 23, worked as a night cleaner at the College Street YMCA in Toronto’s central core. He lived, and died, on Ontario Street, in the east central area on the outskirts of the Gay Village. He was found lying in his bed by his 15-year-old sister, stabbed to death. She had gone to check on him after not getting an answer on the telephone.

He was murdered on October 25, 1979. His killer was arrested just three days later and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

Police said Downing was stabbed in the back during an argument by James Gordon Donald Ashley, 22, of Bleeker Street. Bleeker St. is just one street west of Ontario St. Ashley had tried to take Downing’s “most prized possession,” a $2,000 stereo system, from his apartment. Two thousand dollars in 1979 is valued at more than $8,200 in 2018 dollars.

Ashley used a knife with a six and a half inch blade and stabbed Downing with such force the handle broke off.

Demolition of College St YMCA photo by Bruno Spremo for the Toronto Star.
Demolition of College St YMCA photo by Bruno Spremo for the Toronto Star. Demolition made room for the new Metropolitan Toronto Police Headquarters.

Ashley said he and Downing were casual friends, and he had loaned Downing hundreds of dollars in the past. He decided to take the stereo as “collateral” for that debt, although Downing was not home at the time. While dismantling the system, Downing came home and started an argument.

When police arrested and questioned Ashley, Metro police Inspector Ron Meadows said Ashley suddenly confessed, and said Downing “was a beautiful guy. I loved him. Put me on murder one, put me away.”

Ashley told the inspector he was bisexual and that he and Downing had been lovers. He said he loaned $200-$300 to Downing to buy a pound of pot and when he could not pay in back when Ashley wanted it, he decided to take the stereo. Ashley consumed 20 bottles of beer and smoked between five and seven pot joints before doing to Downing’s home.

“The next thing I know, we are in the bedroom, he was lying on his side… with the knife stuck in him… All I can remember, we were in the kitchen area and I must have grabbed [the knife].” He said he followed Downing into the bedroom. Ashley testified in court that he had no recollection of attacking Downing. “I don’t know what happened,” Ashley said.

Girlfriend Jennifer MacDonald testified during the trial that Ashley told her he had killed a man because of a $200 debt. When she said “You killed for that?”, Ashley said yes.

The jury deliberated less than three hours. Ashley was found guilty of second-degree murder, and Justice Coulter Osborne sentenced him to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: James Edward Downing
Age: 23
Gender: Male
Date of Death: October 25, 1979
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: Ontario Street
Suspect Name: James Gordon Donald Ashley
Conviction & Sentence: Second-degree murder, no chance of parole for 10 years