A Mother’s Heartbreak

Black and white photo of Toronto homicide victim Tess Richey
Murder victim Tess Richey

Tess Richey, 22, was out celebrating on November 24, 2017, with friend Ryley Simard at Crews & Tangos, a Gay Village drag bar, although Richey is not LGBTQ+. They left the bar at approximately 1:30am, heading north toward Dundonald Street where they hung out with a friend of Richey’s on her front porch. With them was an unidentified man.

Just before 4am, Simard’s boyfriend texted her and asked when she would be coming home. Simard left Richey, who had ordered an Uber car, in their company and headed south to Carlton Street to take a TTC streetcar home. Simard would never see Richey alive again.

Although the family reported her missing to Toronto Police, it would be her mother and a friend, who travelled from North Bay to look for her, who would find Richey’s body just metres from where she was last seen. Tess Richey was found at the bottom of a small exterior stairwell on November 29, 2017.

Richey was seen in the company of an unknown male, and nearby business security cameras caught him on tape. Although Police have released his image, he has not been located.

Police originally considered her death accidental, but a December 1 autopsy revealed she had died of neck compression. Friends and family were heavily critical of the handling of the missing persons report by police.

The story garnered international attention. The community created a memorial near where her body was found, which acted not only as a place to express their condolences but also their fears about the neighbourhood.

On February 5, 2018, police announced the arrest of 21-year-old Kalen Schlatter. He was charged with second-degree murder in relation to the death of Richey. A trial is pending.

Below is a 24-minute YouTube video Tess Richey made in 2014.


Murder Village Map

 Vital statistics

Name: Tess Richey
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Date of Death: November 25, 2017
Manner of Death: Strangulation
Location: 582 Church Street
Suspect Name:  Kalen Schlatter
Conviction & Sentence: pending

Troubled Trustee Death

Black and white photo of murder victim Dennis Colby
Murder victim Dennis Colby

Dennis Joseph Colby, 47, was murdered in his home at 185 Cosburn Avenue on September 9, 1995 but it wasn’t until September 12 that police were called to the residence.

Colby was described as an eccentric former Toronto school board trustee, a position he held for some time after his 1974 election. One Toronto newspaper described Colby as remarkably devoted to education affairs who “should be rewarded by election in the same ward.”

In 1995, Colby was found suffering from “extreme trauma to the head”, and was obviously deceased. Police believe the victim was last seen alive on Saturday, September 9 between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. He had been found under a kitchen table, and there were signs of “an altercation”.

“He was a lonely guy, apparently,” said homicide Det. John Line, and did not frequent the downtown gay community area. Line and his partner Det. Rolf Prisor described Colby as “sexually aggressive and had numerous sexual partners on a weekly basis,” media reported, who allowed “street-type people” to stay with him for periods of time.

Sketch of murder suspect "Mike"
Sketch of “Mike”, a crack junkie wanted in the death of Dennis Colby

Police thought a “crack-using drifter” might provide information into Colby’s slaying, as the man had been staying with Colby and had since disappeared. Colby had told friends his name was Michael. He was 26 years old.

On February 28, 2019, Toronto Police announced they knew who the murderer was. As part of the investigation into the murders by serial killer Bruce McArthur, police reviewed open cold cases that fit a particular profile. Det. Insp. Stacy Gallant, the head of the cold case squad, said Colby’s murder fit McArthur’s pattern.

 

Black and white photo of murder victim Dennis Colby

DNA helped police determine that the drifter identified as Michael during the initial investigation, was the killer. His DNA was on file after committing at least one violent offense for which he was caught. However, Michael died in 1995, and police are not releasing his name. They do not believe Michael committed any other murders.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Dennis Joseph Colby
Age: 47
Gender: Male
Date of Death: about September 9, 1995
Manner of Death: Blunt force trauma
Location: 185 Cosburn Avenue
Suspect Name: Mike (died in 2015 before being identified by police)

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

Bound, Gagged and Stabbed

The Selby Hotel where Ronald Isaac met his killer
The Selby Hotel where Ronald Isaac met his killer

When Harry Ronald Isaac, 50, did not show up to work at Journey’s End hotel on Lombard St., he was reported missing by friends. On September 19, 1994, one friend ventured into Isaac’s apartment at 266 Sherbourne St. and found his body. Isaac was bound and gagged and stabbed more than half-dozen times. There was no sign of robbery.

Known to frequent gay bars, he was last seen at the Selby Hotel on September 16. That is the day Isaac died. Isaac was also an AIDS care volunteer at Casey House.

Black and white photo of murder victim Ronald Isaac
Murder victim Ronald Isaac

Police said Isaac “picked up a lot of street kids” for sex and were initially considering a connection to the May 7 1994 murder of John “Bev” Wilson.

Leonard Alexander Welch, 32, and Isaac met at Boots, a local gay bar, and stopped for beer before heading back to Isaac’s home. They played cards and had sex. Welch said it would cost Isaac $60 and was given his bank card to remove the money. A bank surveillance camera showed Welch using Isaac’s bank card on September 16.

Welch claimed later in court that he tried the card three times, but there was no money. He became enraged, started drinking at a local bar, and took cocaine. Welch decided Isaac had taken advantage of him and returned to Isaac’s home to kill him. Isaac’s hands were bound with electrical tape, his feet were bound with shoelaces and a towel was used to gag him.

Ronald Isaac's murderer Leonard Welch
Ronald Isaac’s murderer Leonard Welch

Within days, police issued a warrant for Welch, of no fixed address. Welch had been spotted stalking men “in Metro’s downtown gay strip” just days after the murder, police said.

Welch was arrested on September 30, 1994 in Montreal. During the September 1996 trial, Welch advised his lawyer he was guilty. He said he was consumed with guilt and confessed to murdering a “good man” over unpaid sex. Welch’s lawyer said he had tried to kill himself 16 times.

Welch pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with no parole for 15 years.


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Harry Ronald Isaac
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Date of Death: September 16, 1994
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 266 Sherbourne St.
Suspect Name: Leonard Alexander Welch
Conviction & Sentence: second-degree murder with no parole for 15 years

Sharp-Eyed Transit Rider

Arrest of Dougal MacDonald by police - photo by Tony Costas
Arrest of Dougall MacDonald by police – photo by Tony Costas

On August 2, 1993, Jack Willard Bell, 58, left his home at midnight, drove to an area well-known for male prostitutes and returned shortly after with the man who would be his murderer.

Black and white photo of murder victim Jack Bell
Murder victim Jack Bell

Bell ran into Dougall Alexander MacDonald, a prostitute with no fixed address, and invited him back to his Collier St. home for Valium and alcohol. MacDonald beat and strangled Bell, then set fire to the first-floor hallway closet, but it went out before doing much damage. Shortly after 6:30am on August 3, police were alerted to the death by a long-time friend who found Bell on the second floor.

Police at the crime scene, 125 Collier St. Toronto, for Jack Bell's murder
Police at the crime scene, 125 Collier St. Toronto, for Jack Bell’s murder

Police and media cautioned people living in the Gay Village after the slaying of Bell because of the murder of Norman Rasky on Charles St. shortly before. Although police said Rasky’s murder “had nothing to do with his sexual orientation, it wasn’t gay bashing,” the local 519 Church St. Community Centre distributed community flyers, urging caution in the neighbourhood.

Removal of Jack Bell's body from his home, photo by Mark Rozitis, Globe and Mail
Removal of Jack Bell’s body from his home, photo by Mark Rozitis, Globe and Mail

On August 9, a sharp-eyed transit rider recognized MacDonald from media coverage and called 911. Police intercepted the bus at the corner of Eglinton Ave. and Swift Dr., and arrested MacDonald, 24, on first-degree murder charges.

During the trial, MacDonald said Bell “posed questions” that, combined with the drugs and alcohol, resulted in the attack. MacDonald’s lawyer insisted his client was not homophobic. On September 29, 1993, MacDonald pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 13 years, with no eligibility for parole until half his sentence was complete.

Jack Bell grave marker, York Cemetery Toronto
Jack Bell grave marker, York Cemetery Toronto

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Jack Willard Bell
Age: 58
Gender: Male
Date of Death: August 3, 1993
Manner of Death: Beaten and strangled
Location: 125 Collier St
Suspect Name: Dougall Alexander MacDonald
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 13 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

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

In A Pool of Blood

530 Yonge Street, former site of the Parkside Tavern
530 Yonge Street, former site of the Parkside Tavern

On Sunday, December 4th, 1983, high-school art teacher Thomas Cahill. 44. was stabbed to death in his own home at 199 Berkeley St.

Black and white photo of murder victim Thomas Cahill

At 4:45am, tenant and friend Charles Furlong, 47, heard Cahill call out his name. When Furlong responded, he found Cahill in a pool of blood and the front door open. Police were called, and Cahill was transported to St. Michael’s Hospital, where he died.

Police believed Cahill was stabbed by one or more visitors who were just leaving. He had spent Saturday night at the Parkside Tavern, at 530 Yonge St.

The case remains open.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Thomas Cahill
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Date of Death: December 4, 1983
Manner of Death: Stabbed
Location: 199 Berkeley St.
Suspect Name: unknown

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.

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

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

Flowers and Feathers

Headlines from various Toronto newspapers on Gerald White's murder
Headlines from various Toronto newspapers on Gerald White’s murder

On Sunday September 17, 1978, Gerald Douglas White headed to a friend’s Rosehill Avenue apartment to feed some budgies and water flowers. He was beaten to death that day by Paris Colin Rogers, 23, of no fixed address.

White, a salesman who lived at 44 Charles St West, had invited Rogers back to the Rosehill Avenue apartment in the early morning hours of Monday September 18, as his friend was away on vacation. During an argument, Rogers attacked White and struck him on the head.

Rogers was arrested shortly afterward and charged with second degree murder. Police found White’s car on the following Tuesday.

Rogers was sentenced on February 19, 1979 to six years for manslaughter. Rogers said White, 39, made a pass at him, and that he was unable to control himself, beating White to death.

 


Murder Village Map

 

 

Vital Statistics

Name: Gerald Douglas White
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Date of Death: September 18, 1979
Manner of Death: Blunt Force Trauma
Location: Rosehill Avenue
Suspect Name: Paris Colin Rogers
Conviction & Sentence: Manslaughter, 6 years