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Listing Of Unsolved Murders & Missing People In Canada => Ontario Unsolved Murders & Missing People => Burlington => Topic started by: Chris on September 24, 2007, 10:13:20 AM

Title: Ross McAVELLA - Murder - Burlington (4/26/1976)
Post by: Chris on September 24, 2007, 10:13:20 AM
Donald Ross McAVELLA
Case Number - 14611-76
Date of Birth: 12March21
Address: 2132 Harris Crescent, Burlington, Ontario 

On April 26, 1976 the body of 54-year-old Donald Ross McAvella was discovered in his apartment. The victim died as a result of mulitiple stab wounds.

Information obtained during the course of the investigation revealed that at approximately 2:30am on April 25th, an argument took place between 2 persons in Mr. McAvella''s apartment. At approximately 5:00 a.m. screams were overheard coming from the victim?s residence, and a male suspect was observed leaving the apartment. It is believed that the male was picked up by Taxi and driven to the area of Queen and Main Street in Hamilton.

 The suspect is described as: Male, white, early 20s, 5'8", 150 lbs., thin build, dark mustache to the corner of lips, dark collar-length hair over the ears, bangs, no parting, medium complexion. Wearing whitish beige leisure suite, with breast patch pockets, lightweight material; white shirt with brown pattern on it; possibly carrying a cloth shoulder bag, thin, light colour, with thin shoulder straps and two buckles on it approximately 10" x 8". He also had a slight French accent

Supect - (http://www.hrps.on.ca/data/homicide/images/dmcavella-composite.jpg)

If you have any information on this case please call the Major Crime Bureau at 905-825-4747 Ext.5082 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Please quote the case number and victim's name when calling. Thank You
Title: Re: Ross McAVELLA - Murder - Burlington (4/26/1976)
Post by: BCID on January 16, 2012, 04:07:44 PM
Partial news

The Hamilton Spectator - Hamilton, Ont.

Paul Legall
Jun 14, 1993

Start Page:
Text Word Count:

She recalled Mr. [ROSS McAVELLA] had gone out at about 10.30 the evening before and had returned with a guest four hours later. She could tell by the sound of footsteps there was a second person in his apartment. (She heard Mr. McAvella's death screams at about 4.45 a.m.)

 The detectives also found a red D Jeep lighter with the 1976 Olympic logo under the victim's body. They assumed it belonged to the killer because Mr. McAvella didn't smoke. It had been manufactured in France and there were only a few sold in Ontario. The police enlisted Interpol in an effort to find the owner. But that track led nowhere because there were no serial numbers or records to link the lighter with any particular owner.

 For the Burlington detectives, the nether world Mr. McAvella had fallen into was foreign and bewildering. But Insp. [John Vanderlelie] said he has since gained a better understanding of the case as a result of other homosexual slayings, such as the murder of Brian Kenney on Sept. 20, 1987.
Title: Re: Ross McAVELLA - Murder - Burlington (4/26/1976)
Post by: nightmoves on April 25, 2013, 08:30:36 AM
I heard on the Toronto news that they had just arrested someone in this murder.  Always amazes me when the cold cases are solved.  I will try to look for a link to add.
Yeah!!  If someone else sees one, feel free to add, cause I am unsure on how to do it, but will try!!
Title: Re: Ross McAVELLA - Murder - Burlington (4/26/1976)
Post by: nightmoves on April 25, 2013, 08:32:53 AM
Accused in court 37 years to the day after the crime
Photo courtesy Halton police
Donald Ross McAvella was found stabbed to death in his Burlington apartment on April 24, 1976. 
Halton Regional Police Service/Screen grab
A screen grab from the Halton Regional Police Services website's cold cases file, with details of the Donald McAvella 1976 murder case. 
Hamilton Spectator
Donald McAvella
1 of 3
1 2 3 BURLINGTON Halton police have made an arrest in a 1976 murder that a homicide detective once called the most difficult murder he had ever worked on.

The fatal stabbing of Donald Ross McAvella, 54, in April 1976 had sparked an investigation that spread from Canada to Europe and included a list of two dozen suspects. Inspector Jim Currie told The Spectator that year it was a difficult case and he speculated the killer might never have been in trouble with the law “until now.”

Halton police said Wednesday that, as a result of new information coming to light in December and a further review of the case, they arrested Jan Goro, 66, of Banff, Alta., and charged him with second-degree murder.

Goro was arrested Tuesday and escorted back to Ontario. He made a brief appearance in Milton court Wednesday and was remanded in custody. He will be back in court Friday morning.

McAvella, a soft-spoken office worker, was found dead in his Harris Crescent apartment on April 26, 1976, but police believe he was killed two days earlier. Witnesses told police they overheard an argument between two individuals in the apartment, on April 24, followed by a series of screams. Harris Crescent is off Torrance Street, near downtown Burlington.

McAvella, who had recently separated from his wife, was found with at least seven stab wounds, sprawled beside a blood-spattered bed. A detective called it a “focused, frenzied attack.” Police said in 1993 that McAvella was seen on Jackson Street in Hamilton, where male prostitutes plied their trade, about five hours before he was murdered.

A slim man in his early 20s, who reportedly had a French accent, left the murder scene in a taxi cab. He was dropped off at Main Street West and Queen Street South in Hamilton and vanished into the night.

The only evidence police said they had in 1976 was a French-made cigarette lighter with an Olympic logo. It was found underneath McAvella's body and did not belong to him.

McAvella's children, through Halton police, issued a statement that they were relieved a person had been arrested in connection with the murder of their father. They asked for privacy as they deal with the news of the arrest.

Halton police Chief Steve Tanner was proud of the work of his homicide detectives and their commitment to make an arrest in the 37-year-old case.

“We hope that this arrest will bring some measure of closure to the friends and family of Mr. McAvella,” Tanner said in a statement.

He also acknowledged the assistance of the RCMP and the Behaviourial Sciences Unit of the OPP.

A man with the same name as Goro, and the same age, was employed as maintenance assistant at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. Executive director Brett Oland told The Spectator he had worked at the museum for 16 years and did janitorial chores such as landscaping, clearing snow and cleaning toilets.

The museum, founded in 1958 by a prominent family, is dedicated to the development of the Canadian west.

Oland said he had last seen Goro Friday. He said he did not show up for work Tuesday night and said the call from a reporter “explained a few things.”

He said they have called his home, but have not been able to reach him. Oland said Goro is single and lives alone with his cat.

Oland said, as far as he knew, Goro had come to the Banff area from Ontario, but was originally from eastern Europe. He was stunned to learn Goro might be mixed up in a murder.

“I wouldn't think this person that I knew would be capable of something like that,” said Oland. “He's a very gentle, caring soul … he is an outstanding worker.”