A Strange, Hollow Sound

Police removing William Robinson's body, photo by CBC News
Police removing William Robinson’s body, photo by CBC News

William Duncan Robinson, 24, was found by his sister when she became concerned that he did not show up to work for two days. He was found November 28, 1978, “horribly mutilated” in his 205 Vaughan Road apartment. Robinson was a “shy, well-dressed” man who, police believe, may have met his killer at the St. Charles Tavern at 484-488 Yonge St. A neighbour reported hearing a “strange, hollow sound” coming from his apartment on Saturday.

Black and white photo of murder victim William Duncan Robinson
Murder victim William Duncan Robinson

His death triggered media coverage regarding multiple similar deaths of gay men. He was the 14th gay man to be murdered in three and a half years. Police released a composite sketch and description of the suspect, and said he greasy brown hair and dirty hands, “walked in a clumsy manner and had extreme body odor.” He was trying to buy drugs at the tavern, and rolled his own cigarettes.

Police at scene of William Robinson's murder, photo by CBC News
Police at scene of William Robinson’s murder, photo by CBC News

A $10,000 reward for information leading the arrest and conviction was put out by police. No one been charged in the murder and it remains a cold case for Toronto police.

Police composite sketch of murder suspect in William Robinson murder
Police composite sketch of murder suspect in William Robinson murder

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: William Duncan Robinson
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Date of Death: November 28, 1978
Manner of Death: stabbing
Location: 205 Vaughan Road
Suspect Name: none

Tied and Tortured

Grave marker for murder victim Brian Dana Latocki
Grave marker for murder victim Brian Dana Latocki

Brian Dana Latocki was 24 years old when he was murdered. On January 25, 1977, a still-unknown assailant stabbed Latocki in his home at 141 Erskine Avenue. Police said he was believed to be the “victim of a homosexual assault” after his nude body was found tied to his bed. He had been tortured, stabbed and strangled. There were knife wounds in the back and chest, but no knife was found on scene.

Photo of murder victim Brian Latocki
Photo of murder victim Brian Latocki

At about 9:40 a.m., police received a call to the residence, where they found him inside an apartment. Some items were stolen from the home, and the murderer took extreme care to remove his fingerprints from the scene.

By the end of 1977, Latocki and other gay men – Neil Wilkinson, Harold Walkley, Bernard Guay, James Stewart Kennedy and James Douglas Taylor – were dead within a two year period (1975-1977), and police were concerned about a serial killer stalking the gay community.

Police sketch of the suspect in Brian Latocki's murder
Police sketch of the suspect in Brian Latocki’s murder

Police Inspector George Sellars said he had not proved all the murders were related, but Latocki, like many of the other victims, “frequented Yonge St. homosexual bars” and had hitchhiked home from the St. Charles Tavern the night before.

In November 1978, Latocki was included in the list of 14 gay men murdered in 3 and a half years in Toronto.

 

Photo of murder victim Brian Latocki
Photo of murder victim Brian Latocki

Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Brian Dana Latocki
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Date of Death: January 25, 1977
Manner of Death: Blunt force trauma, strangulation, stabbed
Location: 141 Erskine Avenue
Suspect Name: unknown

Last Seen at St. Charles Tavern

St Charles Tavern photo from City of Toronto archives
St Charles Tavern photo from City of Toronto archives

On the morning of Monday September 20, 1976, police responded to a 911 call and found the body of James Stewart Kennedy. He had been beaten to death.

Photo of murder victim James Kennedy as a young man
Photo of murder victim James Kennedy as a young man

Kennedy, 59, lived at 262 Jarvis St., and worked at the Department of National Revenue. He was found beaten and strangled. A towel had been knotted around his neck and he was severely beaten in the face. He was last seen alive the previous Saturday at a gay bar, the St. Charles Tavern on Yonge St.

Police do not have a motive, and his case remains open.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: James Stewart Kennedy
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Date of Death: September 20, 1976
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma, strangulation
Location: 262 Jarvis St
Suspect Name: unknown

St. Charles Blunt Force Trauma

St Charles Tavern photo from City of Toronto archives
St Charles Tavern photo from City of Toronto archives

Fred John Fontaine, 32, was severely beaten in the washroom of the popular St. Charles Tavern at 484-488 Yonge Street on December 20, 1975. He was discovered at 8:50pm, and 911 was called. He died at Toronto General Hospital from his injuries on July 15, 1976. He was 33 when he died.

His killer has never been found.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

VITAL STATISTICS

Name: Fred John Fontaine
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Date of Death: July 15, 1976
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: St. Charles Tavern, Yonge St.
Suspect Name: none