Author Topic: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London  (Read 13182 times)

gibbons

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Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« on: June 15, 2010, 10:15:33 AM »
I found this unsolved case nested in Websleuths .  Apparently unsolved.

« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 01:40:28 PM by gibbons »

Sleuth

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2010, 12:29:35 PM »
HI Gibbon. This case does ring a bell deep inside my head, but...........it is fuzzy. Maybe someone else would know more?

Woodland

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2010, 02:07:50 PM »
Found some references to this case in a Toronto paper.

Sylvia was strangled with her own belt.  Her coat belt was tied to some electrical wires and looped around her neck.
She lived on Princess Avenue, the abandoned house she was found in was 100 yards away.
Nothing comes up in a search for 10 years after 13 November 1961.

Woodland

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2010, 02:46:22 PM »
Unfortunately it isn't possible to link Toronto Star Pages of the Past.

14 November 1961 - front page plus page 2 regarding her murder.
17 November 1961 page 26 regarding her funeral.

Being strangled with her own belt is very relevant.

amIam

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2010, 03:26:02 PM »
This is likely nothing but the time frame fits.  And it goes way back to the murder of Lynne Harper in Clinton, ON, June 9, 1959.

amIam

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 04:06:49 PM »
Des, I am unsure of the manner of death and the method of others you have mentioned.  However, in the case of Lynne Harper, June 9, 1959 you have stated an error.  She was not strangled by her bra, Lynne was just a little girl and had not yet developed breasts.

Lynne's remains were found in Lawson's Bush, Clinton, ON.  Photos taken by police, show her remains with part of her long sleeved white blouse tied around her neck.  Her blouse was determined to be the murder weapon.

Sorry, little inaccuracies such as these bug me as in the long run they seem to tend to perpetuate themselves.

amIam

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2010, 03:19:07 PM »
Des, sorry, I felt  the case, regarding Lynne Harper needed correction.  Perhaps it's just me but since this case has had a front row seat in Canada for years with the wrongful conviction of Steven Truscott.  He was 14 yrs old when he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to hang.

There is much information available online regarding this case.  It has been ongoing for years, thankfully Steven Truscott is now a free man.

But Lynne Harper's murderer has never been apprehended.

Thanks for correcting the thread! 


Sorry, sometimes data does get mixed up and I apologize I perpetuated a mistake. Don't want to bug anyone that's for sure. I have fixed the error in my database and in this thread.
I do know Lynne was just a little girl, had nothing to do with that, it was an error.

rkay

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011, 10:11:41 PM »
Gibbons asked if I might keep an eye out for this case, and it just so happens I found this while searching for articles related to Jacqueline English, from Dec. 13th, 1969.

This seems to indicate the crime was solved, and the perpetrator was a troubled 13-year-old boy with issues still manifesting 8 years later.

Does anyone know more beyond this, or is this the conclusion to the case?




gibbons

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 07:21:50 AM »
Thanks for posting this rkay.  I had wondered about this very sad case, and whether the case should be included in the unsolved forum.  It does appear to have been attributed to this fellow. 

jobo

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 02:39:50 PM »
There is the proof that these kinds of perpetrators cannot be redeemed.  Cannot be fixed.  I could just imagine how many victims he really has in all these years.

goNgo

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2011, 08:48:33 AM »
To provide a bit more detail about the nature of Sylvia's death, in case it helps people determine whether or not the perpetrator of this crime should or should not be considered for any unsolved crimes in the London area, I will summarize some details found in a Globe & Mail article from November 15, 1961.  (This article can be seen via "Canada's Heritage since 1844" archive research service, available via online search to London Public Library account holders -- and, presumably through other public libraries.)

-  Sylvia was found in the attic of a former grocery store, a popular place for local kids to play, five doors away from her house on Princess Ave.,
-  the inspector theorized that she was injured and knocked unconscious, accidentally or on purpose, by one or more juveniles, who then panicked and hung her in a dingy alcove at the rear of the attic to cover up his/their actions.
-  cause of death was strangulation, so she was not killed prior to being hanged
-  she had been hanged by the belt from her jumper, which had been looped around a telephone wire under the rafters of the attic in a small alcove.  Two storm windows were positioned around the body to hide it.
-  her body was lying face down, touching the floor, with her head raised only about 6 inches off the floor
- there were bruises on her body, but her clothing was not mussed and her shoes were neatly placed beside her body


-  one of the searchers went into the store and saw two boys.  He then searched the main floor and basement and left.
-  two boys, both age 14, were questioned a couple of times and released
-  a swing made from electrical wiring had been made by children near the alcove where Sylvia's body had been found
-  the 7 cents that Sylvia's mother had given her was found on the floor near the swing
- police speculated that she could have been hurt on the swing or she might have been hit or shoved by one of the juveniles and knocked unconscious
-  the fact that someone had taken the time to conceal Sylvia's body led police to speculate that chances were slim it was a "sex fiend"  (i.e. the situation was dissimilar to Susan Cadieux's case -- whose body was found only 4 blocks from where Sylvia was found)

Associated with the article there is a photo of the building where Sylvia was found.

Notes
1) I didn't post the actual article due to copyright reasons.
2)  I have noticed that some newspaper articles spell her surname as "Fink", while some spell it as "Finks".  The article above used the latter spelling, while the shorter G&M article from the day before use the "Fink" spelling.




« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 08:56:31 AM by goNgo »

goNgo

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2011, 10:00:19 AM »
Other Globe & Mail articles on the Sylvia Finks case:

Nov. 14/61 -  Sylvia's body found

Nov. 25/61  -  13 year old boy arrested for Sylvia's murder
Nov. 28/61  -  boy remanded for mental exam (appeared in court Nov. 27)
Jan. 5/62  -  "Boy Charged Called Normal"  - reporting on 1st day of trial

Jan. 13/62  -  "Hard to Forgive Daughter's Young Slayer, Father"

In this latter article the boy, while charged with murder, was convicted of manslaughter on Jan 12 and sentenced to 3 years at Bowmanville Training School, and then would be a ward of that school until he turned 18.  The boy cried and indicated that he thought everyone was against him. This was the first emotion he showed apart from anger and sarcasm since the trial began.  The boy indicated that he helped Sylvia tie her belt around her neck, but that he didn't tie the loose end to the electrical cord.  He said she was alive when he left her. 

(Hmmm...he didn't seem to show any remorse or accept any responsibility.)

His parents cried at the sentencing.




jeb

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2011, 12:56:11 PM »
An interesting albeit, unimportant coincidence:  Someone who testified at a trial in December 1970, also wound up in Bowmanville in the mid to late 60's.

TruthLibertyJustice

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2011, 06:27:20 AM »
I agree GG... taking away from the real Masters.
Yes and also unfair to him as he has not been convicted of a crime and is facing allegations from 1983.  Sad case all around.  Perhaps (after a time) I will also delete my posts with his name on it as having him linked to this kind of thing can only cause more grief for him and his family.  You may want to do the same?

Declan

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Re: Sylvia Fink, 7 years old, murdered Nov. 13th, 1961, London
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2015, 06:16:06 PM »
This case, although solved, continues to haunt for a number of reasons, some of which are detailed in "Murder City" (see page 98, section relating to Jacqueline Dunleavy's murder and Stanley Variety Customers.
Some odds and ends:

(1) RM was charged with and found guilty of the reduced charge of manslaughter - as a 13 year old.  The description of the crime is truly horrific.  Whereas the community at large within SW Ontario became transfixed by the Truscott trial - and the idea that a 14 year old could commit murder.....with RM we have a 13 year old who killed a very small, young girl.  And yet - very little known about this crime, or this killer, or this case.

(2) Within these threads, see reply #7, we have a very scary commentary from a judge that RM had a severe uncontrollable penchant for sexual violence, and a history of very severe behavioural problems while in reform school following his murder of Sylvia

(3) A psychiatrist's report (see Murder City page 98/99) on RM described him " as a dangerous sadist with uncontrollable violent fantasies", and it recommended that he be kept in secure custody (this did not happen).

(4) Again, new information brought forward in Murder City indicates that RM lived in the area near Stanley Variety, and was "another nighttime regular" (which I guess means he was one of the special customers at the Stanley Variety).   Also stated "he had access to a car" which perhaps suggests that police took a look at him as a suspect in JD's murder (thus the information showing up in Det. Alsop's notes).

(5) In the murder of Sylvia Fink, descriptions of the case indicate that RM hung her by her belt.  He pleasured himself while he watched her die.  Her shoes were arranged neatly beside her body.

(6) Features noted in #5 have some overlap with JD's case (strangulation via an article of the victim's clothing).   JD was strangled with her own scarf.  Semen was found on her coat.  Her belongings were arranged about her body in a particular manner.

(7) JD's body was found near the CPRI.  One wonders whether RM may have been assessed, or received treatment, as a youth at the CPRI.  Dr. Goldberg, the head psychiatrist at the CPRI was a specialist in dealing with children with the types of problems manifest in RM.