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Re: Audrey GLEAVE | 73, Murdered (Dec 2010) | Hamilton/Lynden

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Vicious homicide leaves retired teacher dead
Horrendous. Vicious. Savage.

That was how veteran homicide detective Staff Sergeant Steve Hrab described the murder of 73-year-old Audrey Gleave, found dead inside her secluded, rural Ancaster home on Indian Trail Thursday morning.

“In the last 10 years I can’t think of one more vicious,” he said, later adding that the case stands out in the top 1 per cent.

Gleave was stabbed multiple times, Hrab said. Investigators believe there was a “sexual component” and that she didn’t know her attacker or attackers.

She was discovered by a friend who used to occasionally check in on her, shortly before 11 a.m., he said. It is not known how long she lay dead and police will not disclose where in the home she was discovered.

She had no family, Hrab said.

Police are waiting for autopsy results to determine the exact cause of death.

They are also investigating whether there was a burglary or robbery component to the crime, Hrab said.

Save her two German shepherds, who are now in the care of Animal Control, the retired school teacher lived alone in the home she built with her ex-husband 25 years ago, said neighbours Linda and Daryl Ferguson.

They described her as a recluse, “almost like a hermit.”

“We knew she was lonely, but to die like this, I’m sorry she had to die alone,” Linda said.

For many years, the only way neighbours knew Gleave was through the occasional friendly wave.

But a couple of years ago, after a movie shoot on the street, Gleave asked Linda Ferguson for her e-mail and a copy of the film clip.

Since then, Gleave e-mailed Ferguson occasionally, she said. They were not personal messages, rather jokes, riddles, links.

The last e-mail Linda received from Gleave was Monday night. It was a link to a version of Amazing Grace.

Monday night is the last time police believe anyone had contact with Gleave.

No neighbours reported seeing or hearing anything suspicious over the past few days. But the Fergusons’ dogs suddenly began barking wildly around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Hamilton police and OPP were on the scene Friday, searching the grounds, which include dense forest almost entirely around the property. On one edge of the property there is a cemetery.

Hrab said officers were searching for a murder weapon and other evidence. OPP loaded what neighbours said was Gleave’s white Camaro onto a truck and removed it from the scene.

Police are asking for anyone who knew Gleave to contact them, as they are trying to retrace her last week.

Hrab also cautioned the public to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity.

Linda and Daryl Ferguson’s adult son Cam and his girlfriend Jamie Bird also live in the neighbouring home. Both said they were shaken by the news.

At first, police told them everything was OK, Bird said, but now they are telling people to be vigilant.

Jamie works nights and says she is now going to call her boyfriend to meet her in the driveway when she comes home.

“It makes you feel leery, unsettled,” Linda said.

A short drive down Indian Trail, onto Lynden Road, is the boarder to Brant County.

While Indian Trail isn’t densely populated, neighbours say the road is often busy with traffic headed to the nearby shopping area in Brantford.

In a Tim Hortons on Lynden Road, Kristy Smyth sat eating lunch with her three-year-old daughter, Olivia. News of the violent homicide had spread fast and people were talking, fearfully.

“My grandma lives near there and she’s often home alone,” she said. “It’s scary.”

Other neighbours said there were a few elderly women who live by themselves in the Indian Trail area.

Senior sexually assaulted, slain
Last Updated: December 31, 2010 2:55pm
ANCASTER - ANCASTER — It was a "horrendous" murder that, for investigators now on the case, is virtually unmatched in its vicious nature.

Audrey Gleave, 73 and alone, was sexually assaulted, stabbed and left for dead in her Ancaster home — but the details are more concerning yet.

This was a stranger attack, perhaps the most frightening kind, done at the hands of a person or people who Gleave didn't even know, homicide Staff-Sgt. Steve Hrab said Friday.

It was just before 11 a.m. on Thursday — three days after police surmise Gleave was last heard from — that the body of the retired teacher was found by someone who had stopped by her Indian Trail house for "a regular visit," Hrab said.

According to neighbours, that someone was a young man who often helped the short-of-breath Gleave with odd jobs around her house.

"The friend found Audrey in the house, obviously dead, obviously the victim of a very horrific, vicious assault," Hrab said.

She had been sexually assaulted, stabbed several times and suffered other injuries that were examined during an autopsy Friday.

"Stranger, sexual component, vicious, vicious assault. It was something very bad," a tired and disturbed Hrab said. "The crime is horrendous."

About 20 officers, including the collision reconstruction and canine units, hit the ground around Gleave's house Friday searching for any clues that would lead them to the killer or killers.

The house sits at the end of a long driveway, well hidden from cars driving along the quiet country street.

Among the items police hauled away for examination was Gleave's newer model white Camaro.

Neighbours were warned to be vigilant of suspicious activity.

"Somebody may know something about this crime because the individual or individuals responsible may have talked to other people. I think that we need to deal with these people as soon as possible," Hrab said.

"I've been involved in many cases here in this area and this ranks up there in the top 1%."

Hrab wouldn't comment on whether there were signs of a robbery or if the friend who discovered Gleave's body found her door open or unlocked. He also wouldn't comment on whether investigators had any leads on suspects.

Anyone with information was urged to call Det. Paul Johnston at 905-546-4067, Det. Angela Abrams at 905-546-4129 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

Reclusive Lynden woman killed in "vicious" attack
December 31, 2010 - Police investigate a murder on Indian Trail Road in Lynden.

ANCASTER Hamilton police are cautioning Lynden-area residents to be vigilant of anything unusual in their community after a retired teacher was found murdered in her home.

Audrey Gleave, 73, was found by a friend in her home at 3401 Indian Trail Thursday morning at about 11 a.m. Staff Sergeant Steve Hrab said Gleave “was the obvious victim of a homicide” and also said the motive behind her killing may include “a sexual component.”

Hrab called the act "vicious and horrendous" and one of the worst he has seen in 10 years. The victim was stabbed repeatedly.

He said the initial investigation indicates the killer or killers were strangers to the victim.

Gleave, who lived alone with two German Shepherds, taught at Westdale and Barton secondary schools. Hrab said she did not have any family, but was married and divorced early on in her life. Her death is Hamilton’s 11th homicide for 2010.

She sent an email to a neighbour last Monday, and that this was the last contact anyone had with her, police said. The electronic message contained a link to an audio or video clip of the song Amazing Grace, according to police.

Her Indian Trail home is just outside the village of Lynden, in between Lynden Road and Misener Road and close to the Brant-Ancaster Townline.

Police declined to say what room Gleave was found in.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday at the Hamilton General Hospital. Hrab said police also plan to do a forensics examination of Gleave’s home and a ground search of her property.

The police command van was brought to the crime scene Thursday to help investigators with their probe and provide a place for residents to share any information.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives Paul Johnson or Angela Abrams at either 905-546-4067 or 905-546-4129 or Crime Stoppers at 905-522-8477.


If you were acquainted with Audrey Gleave or if she was your teacher, please contact Hamilton Spectator reporter Danielle Wong at

Poor Audrey! :'(

The neighbours must be very unsettled.  The area looks relatively remote.  Hopefully the police have some solid leads and know more that they are giving to the media.

I am surprised LE have released this much info in particular cause of death.


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