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Toronto cold cases

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Toronto cold cases

Christopher Skinner was murdered two years ago on Oct 18, 2009. The murder remains unsolved.Cassandra Do was strangled to death in 2003. IMAGE 1 OF 2
Remembering Chris Skinner and other unsolved murders
Two years after the murder of Christopher Skinner, Toronto police have yet to find his killers, keeping the case on a growing list of cold cases affecting the city’s queer community.
 
Meanwhile, Statistics Canada has reported increases in gay-related hate crimes. In 2008, the agency found such crimes had more than doubled from the previous year, stating, however, that the rise could be due to better reporting. Countless hate crimes also continue to go unreported, it noted.
 
While many hate crimes are undocumented, many murders involving members of Toronto’s queer community have gone unsolved.
 
Probably the most well known is the murder of Skinner, who was beaten and run over by an SUV on the way home from his sister’s birthday party two years ago, on Oct 18, 2009.
 
The most recent case involves University of Toronto accountant Allan Lanteigne, who was found bludgeoned to death in his Ossington Ave home on March 4.
 
The murder was reminiscent of another unsolved case from Jan 18, 2001, that of David Buller, a University of Toronto professor who was murdered in his office in the Visual Studies department.
 
Police say they have compared notes on the two cases and Inspector Ken Taylor, one of the original investigators of Buller’s homicide, tells Xtra he often wakes up in the middle of the night thinking about the Buller case.
 
In July 14, 2008, in another unsolved murder, Ross Magill was stabbed to death after at least two men entered his apartment on Delisle Ave, near Yonge and St Clair.
 
Both the Magill and Lanteigne cases are being handled by lead homicide investigator Detective Sergeant Daniel Nielsen, who has appealed for people to come forward. “There are people in the community who know who did this,” he says.
 
Similarly, Stacey Gallant, lead detective in the Skinner case, says appeals have been made to those who witnessed the murder of the 27-year-old on Adelaide St. However, despite the $150,000 reward offered by city police and Skinner’s family, no one has come forward with information.
 
Skinner was walking home from the Entertainment District when several men in front of an SUV assaulted him. After 30 seconds they got into the vehicle and ran him over.
 
“While there is lots of video of some of the events, and some of the images are helpful in our investigation, the quality is not good enough to identify the people or the licence plate,” reminds Gallant, who says police have "exhausted all investigative leads" and his unit can now only wait and hope one of the men involved will come forward.
 
The murder of Cassandra Do, a 32-year-old Vietnamese-Canadian trans sex worker and nursing student, also remains unsolved.
 
Do, who was also known as Tula, was found strangled to death in her Gloucester St apartment on Aug 26, 2003. She was saving money for sex reassignment surgery, and friends have said she feared for her life because of her dangerous job.
 
Detective Sergeant Craig Samson, who led the initial investigation, found DNA evidence on Do that matched DNA on a female sex worker after an attempted assault in 1997. The suspect in that case was described as a tall black man, six-foot three-inches, between 30 and 40 years old, 230 to 350 pounds with a shaved head.
 
Despite early hopes the case would be solved quickly, police are still hunting for Do’s murderer. 
 
"It is very frustrating having DNA evidence, which is an excellent clue, and to get no real results,” says Samson.
 
A January 2011 article in the Toronto Star noted that police have struggled to solve recent murder cases, with arrests made in just 26 of Toronto’s 60 homicides in 2010.
 
Another well-known murder that remains unsolved is that of former Barn owner Janko Naglic, who was suffocated to death in his Davisville-area home on Oct 27, 2004.
 
Naglic’s former lover Ivan Mendez-Romero was acquitted of the murder in 2008. Detective Sergeant Wayne Banks told Xtra, “the case is closed and nothing is being actively investigated.” 



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Comments

Chris Skinner's murder 2 years ago today!
Today is the second anniversary of the cold blooded murder of Chris Skinner at Adelaide and Victoria. Toronto police will have a commemorative gathering at the site of the murder sometime today in an attempt to get leads. The Toronto homicide case investigators (led by Stacey Gallant) say that they have "exhausted all investigative avenues" and that in spite of the huge $150,000 reward offered by the cops and the family no one has yet come forward with any information that might lead to arrests. A sorry state of affairs, but that is the way it is.
Miss You Sandra
Sandra was my friend. I still miss seeing her smiling happy face as she walked up or down the street from one place or another. In fact I never erased her number from my phone. Just couldn't.

I always considered myself lucky to know her. She brightened up my day on so many occasions when things were anything but.
Her murder is a reminder why sex workers rights need to be brought to the for front rather then hidden. This is something that involves all communities, queer or not as all members are represented within the trade.

This man who murdered her has attacked other workers, maybe even murdered others.

If women like Sandra didn't have to hide their work, had safe work sites, she'd be alive today but the laws make them all hide which puts them in danger every day they work.

Miss ya, love ya
Heartbreaking,
just heartbreaking. Thank you Xtra! for the article. Let's hope it brings in new leads. I feel for their loved ones, I can't imagine what they are and have gone through. The doubling of gay-related hate crimes reported is truly disturbing.
The police need informers
I think the only way these cold cases will be solved is if someone who knows the killers comes forward. For example, on the evening of February 12, 1976, gay actor Sal Mineo was stabbed to death outside his apartment in Los Angeles. For a long time, the murder was unsolved. But an unexpected break came in May 1977. Theresa Williams, the wife of the murderer, went to the police and recounted how her husband, Lionel Raymond Williams, had come home with blood on his shirt on the night of Mineo's stabbing death. She claimed that her husband confessed to her that he had stabbed someone. Later that evening when they were watching television, a news report about Mineo's murder came on. The wife said her husband told her, "That's the dude I killed." When later serving time for other crimes, Williams also boasted to his cell mates that he had killed Mineo. See http://crimemagazine.com/murder-sal-mineo-0
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