Author Topic: Unsolved Murders in Ontario  (Read 39136 times)


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Unsolved Murders in Ontario
« on: March 30, 2007, 10:47:17 PM »
I have been updating my database for the Ontario region. I am far from finished but at a point where I can post info here. Needless to say, there are a LOT more.

Of particular interest are the number of unknown identities of women found in or near the Niagara River in Niagara Falls, ON, particularly near the Maid of Mist dock. I don't know if these are suicides as I don't know the area. Perhaps many jump at this spot?? These have not been included yet. The list will be updated and new additions from this original post will be in maroon.

This information has come from one of these links:

Line Therrien
Age: 36
Date found: July 8, 2006
Location found: London, ON
Date last seen: July 6, 2006
Location last seen: St. Thomas, ON

Age: 18-20
COD: Foul play
Date last seen:
Location last seen:
Date found: December 23, 2002
Location found: Vaughn, ON

Kathleen MacVicar
Age: 19
COD: Stabbed/sexually assaulted
Date last seen: June 13, 2001
Location last seen: Quinte-West, ON
Date found: June 15, 2001
Location found: Trent, ON

Donna Oglive
Age: 24
COD: Strangled
Date found: March 8, 1998
Location found: Toronto, ON
Date last seen: March 8, 1998
Location last seen: Toronto, ON

Forence Harrison
Age: 32
COD: Shot
Date found: January 5, 1997
Location found: Toronto, ON
Date last seen: January 5, 1997
Location last seen: Toronto, ON

?? Melanson
Age: 32
COD: Shot
Date found: January 5, 1997
Location found: Toronto, ON
Date last seen: January 5, 1997
Location last seen: Toronto, ON

Katherine Janeiro
Age: 20
COD: Stabbed
Date found: October 10, 1994
Location found: Barrie, ON
Date last seen: October 9, 1994
Location last seen: Barrie, ON

Age: 17-18
COD: Not released
Date last seen:
Location last seen:
Date found: September 1, 1994
Location found: Vaughn, ON

Cindy Laura Halliday
Age: 17
Date last seen: April 21, 1992
Location last seen: Waverly, ON
Date found: June 16, 1992
Location found: Elmvale, ON

Sandra Kaye Johnson
Age: 18
Date found: February 14, 1992
Location found: Thunder Bay, ON
Date last seen: February 13, 1992
Location last seen: Thunder Bay, ON

Shirley Payette
COD: Blunt trauma
Date last seen: March 25, 1990
Location last seen: Terrace Bay, ON
Date found: April 1, 1990
Location found: Terrace Bay. ON

Marie Woods
Age: 31
Date last seen: September 21, 1981
Location last seen: Scarborough, ON
Date found: November 10, 1986
Location found: Newmarket, ON

Benita Rosa Tarantino
Age: 17
Date found: October 28, 1985
Location found: Vaughn, ON
Date last seen: September 28, 1985
Location last seen: Toronto, ON

Jane Louise Sutherland
Age 20
COD: Strangled/head trauma
Date found: October 23, 1984
Location found: Hull, PQ
Date last seen: October 20, 1984
Location last seen: Ottawa, ON

Katherine Elizabeth McLaughlin
Age: 33
COD: Blunt trauma
Date found: July 31, 1979
Location found: Markham, ON
Date last seen: July 27, 1979
Locaton last seen: Markham, ON

Tracy Kundinger
Age 18
COD: Asphyxiation
Date found: August 21, 1975
Location found: Markham, ON
Date last seen: August 20, 1975
Location last seen: Markham, ON

Beverly Smith
Age: 22
Date found: December 9, 1974
Location found: Raglan, ON
Date last seen: December 9, 1974
Location last seen: Raglan, ON

Dianna Veronica Singh
Age: 21
COD: Stabbed
Date found: August 25, 1974
Location found: King Township, ON
Date last seen: August 13, 1974
Location last seen: Toronto, ON

Susan Assin
Age: 20
COD: Stabbed
Date last seen: June 17, 1974
Location last seen: Kenora, ON
Date found: June 1994
Location found: Kenora, ON

Yvonne Leroux
Age: 16
COD: Blunt trauma
Date last seen: November 29, 1972
Location last seen: North York, ON
Date found: November 30, 1972
Location found: North York, ON

Catherine Potter
Age: 13
Date found: October 3, 1971
Location found: Pickering, ON
Date last seen: October 1, 1971
Location last seen: Toronto, ON

Lee Kirk
Age: 15
Date found: October 3, 1971
Location found: Pickering, ON
Date last seen: October 1, 1971
Location last seen: Toronto, ON

Geraldine Pickford
Age: 41
COD: Asphyxiation
Date last seen: September 18, 1965
Location last seen: Aurora, ON
Date found: September 19, 1965
Location found: Aurora, ON

« Last Edit: April 27, 2007, 12:13:29 AM by Desespere »


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Re: Unsolved Murders in Ontario
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009, 05:49:08 PM »
under the name florence harrison . you have question marks for the name melanson ,  her name was tresa melanson , they were both shot excution style in a stairwell in regent park,


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Re: Unsolved Murders in Ontario
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 11:27:17 AM »
I'm copying some articles here that were originally posted in London's Project Angel thread - they've got some interesting information that draws similarities between numerous murders in Southern Ontario, and some suspected killers I've never even heard of. The thread is here, it has one or two more articles that are more specific to Project Angel:,3604.0.html

Fourth of a five-part series. Elusive killers leave cold trail for police; [AM Edition]
John Duncanson and Nick Pron TORONTO STAR. Toronto Star. Toronto, Ont.: Apr 2, 1992. pg. A.4

He was lurking in the shadows, the orange-colored plastic bag in his hand, as the perky teenager left the grocery store.

It was just after 2 on a crisp fall morning, and the London, Ont., street was deserted. There were no witnesses, and that's the way he wanted it.

Donna Jean Awcock didn't like going out alone at night. For weeks, she was troubled by a feeling something awful would happen to her.

But the 24-hour grocery store was only a block away and she was out of cigarettes.

When Carol Awcock awoke that morning and saw Donna Jean's empty bed, she knew something was wrong.

Her 17-year-old daughter had been out babysitting the night before. She always phoned home if she had to stay overnight.

The call from the police came later in the day. There was a battered body in the morgue. They thought it might be Donna Jean.

Don Awcock started trembling as he stared down at his daughter's body lying on a cold gurney. There were bruises on her body from her neck to her thighs.

Shoved deep down her throat, just barely sticking out of her mouth, was an orange-colored plastic bag, like one used to collect garbage.

Detectives believe the bag was used to silence Donna Jean's screams as she was raped and strangled.

Donna Jean wasn't the only murder victim in the London area to die that way. In three other unsolved slayings, the screams of the victims were also muzzled, wads of tissue shoved deep into their throats.

Investigators won't say if the "tissue slayings" are the work of a serial killer, but the Awcocks are convinced the man who murdered their daughter eight years ago has killed before, and will strike again.

A Star investigation into unsolved female slayings in the province over the last two decades has found there are at least four serial killers who have eluded police.

Police agencies are aware that serial killers have been operating in the province for years, but never made that public.

The Awcocks think they know their daughter's killer, a man they say stalked her and has since disappeared out west.

"I just pray they find this guy dead somewhere so another family doesn't have to go through the same hell," said the teary-eyed mother, staring at a framed portrait of her daughter, a poppy on each corner of the frame.

"I hope they catch this guy in the States. Down there they fry 'em," said the angry father.

The first two tissue slayings were in London in 1968, Jacqueline Dunleavy and Frankie Jensen. About 7 1/2 years later, Irene Gibbons was slain in her Strathroy house. Eight years would pass before Awcock's murder.

Dunleavy, the 16-year-old daughter of a London police officer, was last seen getting into a car on Jan. 9. Her partially clad body was found within hours of her disappearance.

She had been strangled with her own scarf, a wad of facial tissue shoved down her throat.

Jensen, the 9-year-old son of a furniture dealer, was abducted on his way to school on a blustery, winter day - one month later.

The little boy's body was pulled from the Thames River, where Awcock's body was found.

He had been clubbed on the side of the head with a blunt object, likely a brick. Like the murder a month before, tissue was shoved in his throat.

Gibbons, a reclusive 66-year-old woman, had just returned home from doing some banking business when she apparently answered a knock at her door.

Her body was found in the bedroom. She had been strangled with a pair of her stockings; wads of tissue were in her throat.

* * *

There have been about 160 unsolved female slayings in Ontario over the past two decades, and the scenario with many of them is the same:

The victim either vanishes off the street or is murdered in her house; the police assign dozens of investigators to the case and start a massive hunt for the culprit, confidently predicting they will soon make an arrest. But then, months later, when they have run out of leads, they turn to the public for help.

One such case is the .22-calibre killer, a suspected psychopath who shot his victims in the back of the head.

It was in the spring of 1970 when Doreen Moorby answered the front door of her home in the town of Gormley.

Standing there was a dark-haired man in his late 30s, a big- eared, swarthy type who apparently talked his way into the house to use the phone, saying his car had broken down.

Once inside, he raped the 34-year-old former nurse and then shot her three times, once in the back of the head. She died with her baby in her arms. The child wasn't hurt.

The killer then calmly picked up the shell casings and fled in a tan-colored sedan.

A massive manhunt was started by police, who feared the demented killer might strike again. They were right.

Twelve days later in nearby Palgrave, just 40 kilometres (25 miles) to the west, another former nurse, Helen Ferguson, 37, was lured from her home by a man claiming he had a sick child in his car and needed help.

Ferguson's 9-year-old son was playing in an upstairs bedroom when he heard his mother and the stranger come back into the house. Minutes later, the boy ran downstairs when he heard a burst of gunfire.

He saw a swarthy man with big ears standing over his mother's half-naked body, which was lying on the floor. She had been raped and shot in the back of the head.

The gunman stared impassively at the boy for a moment before fleeing, driving off in the same tan-colored car. Once again, he had collected the shell casings.

The dragnet intensified as police questioned more than 3,000 suspects. But the trail grew cold.

Two years later, a woman's body was found against a fence in a deserted field near Georgetown, south of Palgrave.

Police suspect Janice Montgomery, 22, was hitchhiking when she was picked up by her killer, who drove her to the lonely field where he shot her in the head with a small-calibre gun.

All the labels had been carefully removed from her clothing. No shell casings were found.

A year later, the bodies of two teenaged North York women, who thumbed a ride, were found in a deserted field in Downsview. Donna Sterne and Wendy Tedford had been shot in the back of the head.

Detectives theorized they had been killed by a deranged maniac for no apparent reason.

The string of killings then stopped. Tips came in sporadically about the .22-calibre killer, the last one two years ago. But he has never been caught.

* * *

The slayings of elderly people in the Ottawa Valley started in 1975 and ended 12 years later.

That was when the Ontario Provincial Police publicly stated they believed the murders were connected. Although they had a suspect in mind, he was never charged.

While the focus of the investigation was eastern Ontario, there have been 10 other unsolved slayings of elderly women, most of them widows, in the southwestern part of the province during that same time.

Like the killings in the Ottawa area, all the victims were at home alone when they were slain, a Star investigation has found.

Some of the women were raped, while in other cases police could find no apparent motive, but suspected robbery.

While investigators have never publicly linked any of the murders in southwestern Ontario, there are several similarities.

A common pattern was the lack of forced entry, as most of the women apparently opened their doors to their killers.

In one case, police suspect the killer may have been a man making a delivery.

Police are looking for a truck driver from a plant nursery, a possible suspect in the 1988 murder of 80-year-old Thera Dieleman of Innerkip, near London.

He was driving a flatbed truck with white lettering on the doors. It was seen parked in front of the widow's house the day she was beaten and strangled to death.

The most recent unsolved murder was that of a 63-year-old Mississauga woman, who was raped and strangled in her apartment building last fall. Police believe Muriel Holland's killer may have followed her home from a shopping trip.

* * *

He was the one that got away.

Detectives nicknamed him the "Porn Man" and privately admit they may have bungled the investigation into the suspected serial killer who operated over a three-year-period in the Port Stanley, Stratford and Tillsonburg areas.

Police had been watching the man for years; he had a long criminal record and had been in psychiatric hospitals.

They closed in on him when they started finding the body parts of one of his suspected victims, Priscilla Merle, in 1972, near Port Stanley, a small town on the shores of Lake Erie.

Merle's left arm was floating in Kettle Creek. Soon after, her upper torso was discovered near a marina in the same area.

Police believe the body of the 21-year-old woman had been cut up with a 35-centimetre (14-inch) power saw.

The separated mother of one had last been seen alive getting into a station wagon, a vehicle that resembled the one driven by the Porn Man.

Merle's death was the last in a series of murders starting in October, 1969, with the slaying of Jacqueline English, whose nude body was found floating in Big Otter Creek, near Tillsonburg.

The 15-year-old had been raped and murdered after hitchhiking home from her job as a waitress. Less than a year later, another 15- year-old, Soraya O'Connell, disappeared after hitchhiking home from a youth centre in London.

Her skeletal remains were found four years later in a garbage dump south of Stratford.

Police raided the Porn Man's home, where they made a grotesque discovery in his basement.

There were bags of feces stored in a chest, human waste he had collected for some bizarre reason. Along with the feces were pictures of naked children.

But the evidence wasn't strong enough to take to court, and he wasn't arrested.

Soon after, the Porn Man moved, and was last believed to be in the Toronto area.

In their eagerness to arrest the Porn Man, detectives now admit they may have moved in on him too soon.

"Looking back on the case, perhaps we could have played it differently. Perhaps tailed him more," said one detective.

"But one thing's for sure. After he left town . . . the killings stopped."


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Re: Unsolved Murders in Ontario
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 11:28:14 AM »
One more article from the Project Angel thread:

Unsolved murders: Are they linked?
The Toronto Star, March 30, 1992, Monday, ONTARIO EDITION, NEWS; Pg. A1/ FRONT, 1415 words, BY NICK PRON AND JOHN DUNCANSON TORONTO STAR

Over the past two decades, the murders of 160 females in Ontario remain unsolved. Some simply vanished off lonely streets, others were found mutilated.

These deaths have been portrayed by police as random incidents, not linked to each other.

But a Star investigation has discovered that at least 30 of them may have been committed by serial killers - the type of psychopaths most thought only existed in the United States.

About a dozen serial killers have been active in Ontario over the last two decades. Eight are now behind bars, although most have been convicted of just one murder, not a series of killings.

Some are applying for early release from prison - but authorities remain unaware of just how many they actually killed.

For years, police agencies across Ontario publicly denied the existence of the multiple murderers, often claiming that convicted child killer Clifford Olson is Canada's only serial killer.

But privately, it was another story.

Homicide detectives with various forces have been aware for some time that the most feared breed of killers - psychopaths who slay for their own perverse sexual gratification - have been on the prowl in Canada's most populated province, The Star found after numerous interviews with law enforcement authorities, researchers and other sources.

The existence of these killers is one of Ontario's darkest secrets, something that police investigators will discuss, but only reluctantly.

The three-month-long Star investigation also found:

There has been a serious breakdown in communication among police forces across the province, which has allowed some of the killers to continue operating.

At least one recent attempt to get Ontario police forces to share information about the murdered women ended in failure because of inter-force rivalries, disputes over investigative techniques and a general lack of awareness.

Of the eight serial killers who have been caught, most were never publicly identified as multiple murderers, getting convicted for only one or two of the slayings. Relatives of other victims were quietly told by investigators that, although they had a suspect, no charges would be laid, citing mounting costs of continuing the investigation.

In those cases, psychiatric review panels and the parole board were unaware of just how many murders the applicant for release really committed because "they were only on the books for one charge," said one source.

One police officer went to a killer's review hearings year after year, quietly reminding members of the panel just how many murders the man had really committed.

"My stamina is gone," he said, asking that his name not be used. "I just can't keep this up. It takes a lot out of you, going there year after year. I've had it."

The Star investigation uncovered at least eight serial killers in Ontario institutions; men who have killed three or more times with a "cooling off" period between each of the slayings - the FBI definition of a serial killer.

The eight, who have been caught over the past two decades, carried out an estimated 50 murders.

Most were committed to the psychiatric institutions for one or two murders each, although they had killed many others.

One detective who went to the families of other victims to explain why police wouldn't be laying charges said it all boiled down to a matter of money.

"After we got him for one, it was just too damn costly to carry on the investigation and do him for the rest," he said, adding that he wasn't happy with that outcome, but pointed out that was the way the system worked.

While some serial killers have been caught, at least four others have eluded police in Ontario, The Star investigation revealed.

They may have killed as many as 30 women in the Toronto, Ottawa, Barrie and London areas, sources say, slayings over the past 20 years that have never been solved.

Several of those cases have recently been reopened by the Ontario Provincial Police because of what one detective called some "interesting peculiarities" in the way the women died. He wouldn't elaborate.

In addition to those murders, police investigators are still puzzling over the brutal slayings of 130 other women in the province since 1970.

A list of the murders was compiled by The Star after reviewing archival material, collecting police reports and travelling to various police detachments across Ontario.

Police detectives admit they have never done a comprehensive examination of all the 130 cases to look for any similarities, the "calling cards" or the "signatures" left behind by serial killers.

In several investigations, detectives admitted they had to "start from scratch" in looking for other cases similar to their own, complaining about the lack of a central registry of cases.

Many of the cases were inactive after the investigating officers moved on to other duties, retired or quit the force. Spokespersons for the various forces maintain the murder cases remain open, but admit with each passing year the chances of ever making an arrest are slim.

Aside from those cases, there are dozens of other women officially listed as missing on police records, some of whom police suspect were murdered, but their bodies have never been found.

The majority of the 160 murders - 84 slayings - happened during two distinctive cycles, five-year periods at the beginning of the 1970s and 1980s. One investigator called the two waves the "killing seasons."

During the first cycle, the majority of the victims were between 10 and 17 years of age, according to a special computer run done for The Star by the Law Enforcement Program of Statistics Canada.

In the second cycle, the ages of the victims rose, and most of those killed were between 18 and 29.

The majority of the women killed since 1970 were single, and most were either strangled or beaten to death, the statistics show.

During that time, 25 of the victims were older than 60, and most of them - 19 - were widows.

Thirteen of the victims were children, 10 years of age and under.

Although police investigators in Ontario have known about the serial killers, talking about it publicly makes them uncomfortable.

Some investigators admit that they're embarrassed by the lack of communication between forces about murder cases, which has hindered investigations.

Then there's the fear factor.

"Police forces don't like to talk about serial killers because it is a very disturbing perception," said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Ron MacKay, head of the force's Violent Crime Analysis Section in Ottawa.

"You don't want to go around panicking people . . . but they (serial killers) are out there, and all the police forces are very well aware of them," he said.

"It's a chilling thought to think that these types of people are on the streets," said Halton Region police Inspector John Van Der Lelie. "But to deny their existence is like sticking your head in the sand."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated there are as many as 35 serial killers on the loose in the United States. Several of the American killers have made forays into Ontario, sources say.

Candace Skrapec has interviewed six jailed serial killers in Canada - three in Ontario - for her doctoral dissertation at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

Skrapec said she had a tough time getting research funds for her project because few people believed that there were any serial killers in Canada.

"There isn't any attention paid or publicity given to serial killers mainly because of a lack of resources in Canada to identify the problem," she said.

The men she interviewed have never been identified as serial killers because they had been jailed for only one murder each - a recurring pattern in numerous homicide cases reviewed by The Star.

"If these were Bay St. businessmen getting knocked off, people would be screaming for a royal commission," said Maria Crawford, who has researched nearly 1,000 female homicides in Ontario since 1974 for a provincial government report soon to be released.

While her report focuses on domestic slayings, she said she noticed disturbing similarities in some of the unsolved murders - the "stranger to stranger" homicides. She couldn't discuss any details because of restrictions imposed on her under the provincial Freedom of Information Act.


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Re: Unsolved Murders in Ontario
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2010, 06:08:33 PM »
Copy of a map of Toronto from The Star today showing homicides for 2005 - 2010.  Only the names for 2010 are listed.


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Re: Unsolved Murders in Ontario
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2010, 09:01:53 PM »
Would this qualify as another for the listing.  I didn't find a thread with Samantha Collins as missing.

OPP ID Bracebridge homicide victim

Posted 13 days ago

BRACEBRIDGE - OPP have identified the woman found dead at a cottage near Bracebridge earlier this week as 32-year-old Samantha Collins.

Last Monday evening, members of the Bracebridge Ontario Provincial Police attended a location on Merrick Drive where human remains were located at a seasonal cottage.

Collins last known address was in Bracebridge.
The OPP are appealing to the public for any information on her whereabouts prior to and leading up to the discovery of her body.

    Members of the Muskoka Crime Unit and Central Region Forensic Identification Unit have been assisting in the investigation under the direction of Acting Detective Inspector Paul McCrickard of the OPP Criminal Investigations Branch.

   If anyone has information on this crime, they are asked to contact Muskoka Crime Unit at 789-5551, or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222 TIPS (8477).

There is a picture of Ms. Collins and a plea from police:
Samantha Collins, whose last known place of residence was Bracebridge.

Today police released a photo of slain former Bracebridge resident 32-year old Samantha Collins, who was found deceased at a Merrick Drive cottage near Wood Lake one week ago. Police are asking the public to contact them if they have any information that could assist with the case. If you have information on this crime, you are asked to contact the Muskoka Crime Unit at 705-789-5551 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can also submit your information online at if you have any information. Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display and will remain anonymous. Being anonymous, you will not testify in court and your information may lead to a cash reward up to $2000.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 July 2010 08:08
« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 09:09:51 PM by Concerned »