Christine Jessop

Christine Jessop

Christine Jessop, 9, Queensville, Ontario, 3 Oct 1984

Basic summary of the case:

October 3, 1984. At approximately 3:50 pm, Christine Jessop got off her school bus on Leslie Street, just north of the main intersection in Queensville, Ontario. She was most likely excited about her new acquisition – a plastic recorder (a whistle-like musical instrument) given to her that day by her school teacher. She had apparently made plans to meet her classmate, Leslie Chipman at the park (just east of the main intersection and near the corner store) around 4 pm.

Christine picked up her family’s mail and bounded up the lane and into her home. No one was there. Her father (Bob) was serving time in a correctional facility. Her mother (Janet) was out running errands with Christine’s older brother (Ken).

According to witness testimony, at some point between 4:00 and 4:30 pm, Christine strolled into the convenience store located at the intersection south of her home on Leslie Street and bought some gum.

Leslie Chipman, who had apparently called Christine’s house shortly after she got off the school bus and got no answer there, went to the park to await Christine. Christine never showed up.

When Janet and Ken Jessop arrived home at about 4:10 pm, they saw Christine’s bicycle where she normally kept it – but it was in a fallen state with some minor damage. Her book bag was on the kitchen counter, as well as the mail.

Unable to find Christine, they called her friends and searched the neighbourhood and the nearby park. She was nowhere to be found. Sometime between seven and eight o’clock, Janet called police and a massive search for the little girl began.

On December 31, 1984, Christine’s body was found at the edge of a farmer’s filed near Sunderland, a community 40 km east of Queensville.

Details of the crime scene according to the “Kaufman Report” (CHAPTER V):

“Her body was on its back and decomposed. Her legs were spread apart in an unnatural position and her knees were spread outward. Animals appeared to have eaten at the legs. Her head was pointed north and her feet south. A sweater was pulled over her head. A few bones were scattered between her head and what remained of her legs, giving the appearance that her head and waist were not connected. The victim was wearing a beige turtleneck sweater, a blue pullover sweater, a blouse on which some buttons were missing and two pairs of socks. Her panties were found at her right foot. Blue corduroy pants with a belt and a pair of Nike running shoes were found just south of her feet. These clothes were subsequently identified as belonging to Christine. Her school recorder, with her name still taped on it, was found next to her body. The hand-knitted blue sweater with the zippered front and no collar, which she was last reported wearing, was not found on the body; nor was it ever located.”

Christine had been killed by multiple stab wounds to the upper body.

In 1995, DNA from the semen found on her underwear was used to exonerate a Queensville man who had been wrongly convicted of her murder (Guy Paul Morin). A subsequent inquiry into the matter revealed numerous police blunders and misconduct during the investigation, contaminated evidence, and fabricated witness testimony.

Christine Jessop’s murder remains unsolved to this day.

Margaret McWilliam


Some people feel that the following person was involved in the murder of Margaret McWilliam:

James Marr was convicted in 1994 of the May 16, 1992 murder of Martha Watson McKinnon. Her body had been found behind an apartment against a fence. She had been beaten, strangled and sexually assaulted.






Cassandra Do


Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Kim Bradley

‘Shemale’ is 34th murder

Transgender escort strangled in apartment

The murder of a “shemale” escort in her downtown apartment has friends and fellow escorts fearful they may be next. Cassandra Do, 32, of Toronto, known as Tula on the street, was found dead in her 11th-floor home on Gloucester St. on Monday at 10:30 p.m. by horrified relatives after failing to hear from her. An autopsy yesterday revealed Do had been strangled.

“I just can’t believe it,” said Tasha Jones, a transgender friend and former escort. “That’s why I don’t do what she did anymore. It just got too scary.”

Jones is suggesting the transgender escort community come together and look out for each other when working.

“It could have been one of us. We need to bond and stick together,” she said. “Being a transsexual is sometimes very lonely. We really can’t trust a lot of people.”

Jones said Do lived a reclusive life and only let a select few know her real identity and background, adding she was well-liked and well-known by others in the business, but only as Tula.

“I didn’t even know her real name,” Jones said, her voice breaking with emotion.

Do, the city’s 34th homicide victim of the year, used to turn tricks out of her apartment and advertised on the Internet using the Web site She also advertised in local community papers.

Another fellow escort, who asked not to be named, said she was in a state of disbelief when she heard about Do’s death.

“I still can’t accept it,” she said, adding Do was a loner.

“She was a very private person. All I really knew about her is that she loved cats.”

Her brother was visiting her at the time of her death, but police wouldn’t confirm if he was the one who found her. Friends are planning a memorial service.

Det.-Sgt. Craig Sanson from Toronto Police is asking anyone with information on Do’s final hours to call 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

TORONTO, Sat, Nov 29/2003

A Trans woman was sexually assaulted by a client matching the description of Cassandra Do`s murderer and a 1997 assault (see below for description). It was an incall at her place in the Parkdale area at about 2 am. He got her number from her ad in an EYE magazine edition from last August. She hadn`t advertised since August. At the beginning of the date he seemed fine, though he wasn`t interested in foreplay. He then got rougher and began choking her. She managed to push him off of her and she got up to get something from behind the curtains. He lunged at her. She then told him that the camera on her dresser was recording everything. He stopped immediately and apologized. He got dressed and left but not before stealing a substantial amount of money from her purse. An interesting detail is that he removed the condom he was wearing and took it with him. Also he was completely shaven. Not a hair on his body. The sex pro has his work number and has given it, along with this info to police.


Cheryl Rowe Missing December 22, 2011 Rathfon Crescent, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 5B7, Canada

Cheryl Rowe was last seen Thursday, December 22, 2011. On Rathfon Crescent In the town of Richmond Hill, Canada. She may be in the U.S.Cheryl Rowe is 5 feet tall 125 lbs thin buildDark Brown Hair, …

Source: Cheryl Rowe Missing December 22, 2011 Rathfon Crescent, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 5B7, Canada

Murder of OBUS Forme founder Frank Roberts


Frank Roberts was gunned down on the morning of Thursday, August 13th, 1998 in the parking lot of the OBUS Forme Ltd. factory on Hopewell Ave. at Dufferin St. Roberts, 67, the inventor of the OBUS Forme backrest support cushion, and president of the company, arrived at work at 7:30 every morning, and police speculated his killer knew his schedule and ambushed him the morning of the 13th. The murder had hallmarks of a professional hit.

Roberts’s life had seen some changes in recent months, things he had kept secret from many of those close to him. He had been dating Etty Sorrentino, a 31-year-old married Florida woman. Earlier in the year, he had taken out an $830,000 mortgage on his Toronto home and bought a dream house in North Beach, Florida, a new Mercedes, and expensive gifts for Sorrentino. His extravagance may have been beyond his ability to afford.

Several witnesses to the slaying came forward and, days after the murder, police received an anonymous call from someone who provided what authorities considered “vital information”. Police have never revealed what that information was, and it is unknown if the unknown caller ever contacted police again.

Death of a self-made man.(OBUS Forme Ltd. founder and head Frank Roberts)

Article from: Canadian Business | November 13, 1998 | Kaihla, Paul

Frank Roberts transformed a humble piece of plastic into the OBUS Forme back rest, one of the biggest success stories in Canadian marketing history. Then his brutal murder revealed the millionaire’s secret life.

Hundreds of mourners packed a sweltering Toronto chapel to pay their final respects, while condolences from the rich and famous poured in from across the land. The Aug. 16 funeral reflected the life and achievements of Frank Roberts, whose peers in corporate Canada had once ranked him among the country’s top entrepreneurs and twice honored his company as one of the nation’s best-managed private enterprises. Roberts, 67, had invented the OBUS Forme back rest and made a humble piece of plastic the greatest single success story in the history of Canadian product marketing. But the enigmatic millionaire was fated to be even more famous in death than in life. For Roberts is the only high-profile CEO in memory to be gunned down in a mob-style execution.

The killing happened an hour after sunrise as the grandfather of 13 children stepped out of his black Mercedes SL 500 convertible and walked toward the gleaming facade of OBUS Forme Ltd.’s headquarters in a west-end Toronto neighborhood populated’ by working class immigrants and building supply retailers. The killer, who is still unidentified, shot Roberts in the head and chest at point-blank range. It was Aug. 13, a Thursday, and the brutal murder transformed a mundane workday into a media circus. Those in the CEO’s immediate universe, friends, family and his 100 employees – many of them immigrants from poor countries – reeled in shock. Their tears were sprinkled with accolades. “He would always come in with a smile, and he treated us all with respect,” a worker told a Toronto newspaper the day of the shooting. “He didn’t have an enemy in the world,” Roberts’ older brother, Walter, told Canadian Business weeks later. “He was just a kind, nice man.”

Frank’s most recent ex-wife had remained close to the slain businessman and his three children from a previous marriage. She sped to the crime scene after hearing of the killing from a friend. “He was a very happy man, and he was loved,” Dominique Leval recalled with emotion. “You ask me how, how, how. We would like to know because we don’t have any answers.”

Everyone was asking the same question: “Who in the world would want Frank Roberts dead?”

But a more telling point of departure, perhaps, would be to turn that question around. “Who didn’t?”

Within days of Roberts’ death, the fabric of a strange, secret reality began to unravel, details of which were unknown even to members of his own family. Roberts, it turned out, had a mistress in Florida, where he had owned a Miami condo for years. Etty Sorrentino, an Israeli emigre less than half Roberts’ age, lived with her eight-year-old daughter – and was still married to her second husband. He was a flashy Miami restaurant owner who had trouble staying in business and making support payments to an ex-wife and two kids he’d left behind in New York City. At the time Roberts was killed, the Sorrentinos were on holiday in Italy.

Roberts’ business life was no less complicated than his personal life. In the first in-depth exploration of the businessman’s private world, Canadian Business conducted exclusive interviews with Roberts’ son, Brian, co-owner and current head of OBUS Forme, and Roberts’ last wife, Leval. Canadian Business also located former employers, competitors and associates who offered their own revelations. What emerges is a portrait radically at odds with Roberts’ public image.

Consider these voices from Roberts’ professional life, from men who crossed his path as he took a garage invention and transformed it through raw will into a multimillion dollar, international export.

“Sometimes you wish that someone would just disappear,” says a former OBUS executive, adding slowly, “not that they deserve to get shot. He made a lot of enemies.”

Some of those enemies did little to disguise their enmity. “After Roberts was killed, my phone stopped ringing for two days,” joked a competitor. “Everyone thought I was in on it. Right. I don’t own a gun.”

Even a prominent Toronto business figure could not find it in his heart to forgive Roberts in death. ‘It really irks me when I see all these articles eulogizing the guy,” he complained. “I’ve worked hard and I’ve been successful, but I never had to cheat anybody to do it. He was not a nice person. He did not have a very good reputation.”

What Roberts did have was a faculty unique to born salesmen: the ability to visualize the exact point at which a demand curve intersects with a supply curve. “He had a calling,” says Frank’s 38-year-old son Brian, fondly reminiscing in the OBUS Forme boardroom. “He saw a product and he’d import it. That was his love.”

Roberts pursued that love with staggering stamina, relentlessly chasing the next high in either business or pleasure through tortuous cycles of boom and bust. His shrewd marketing instincts and his personal pain would lead him to develop the OBUS Forme, an invention that would generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue from Kuwait to California, and become to back supports what Kleenex is to facial tissues. After an agonizing half-century-long quest marked by personal and business failures, Roberts would finally find a goose that would lay golden eggs. …

‘I know who did it’; Toronto tycoon’s 1998 murder still bugs retired cop

TORONTO — The unsolved murder of a Toronto business tycoon continues to irk retired detective Ray Zarb even though it’s been almost 18 years since that summer morning when he first arrived at the bloody crime scene.

It was 7:24 a.m. on Aug. 13, 1998 when Zarb and his partner responded to a report of a shooting at an industrial parking lot.

When they arrived, the body of Frank Roberts — the millionaire inventor of the Obus Forme backrest — lay on the ground next to his Mercedes Benz SL 500 with one bullet hole to the head and two to the chest.

“I know who did it,” says Zarb, who investigated the killing first as a fresh murder and then as an unsolved crime when he transferred to the Toronto police cold case squad years later.

He won’t get into the details of the case, but Zarb says he had two “huge tips,” both leading him down a trail to organized crime. He believes there was a wheelman, a triggerman and someone who ordered the hit.

But the evidence gathered by detectives wasn’t strong enough for prosecutors, he says, and the case remains unsolved.

“It irks me, it bugs me,” Zarb says at his home in Burlington, Ont. “Police officers don’t forget. I’ll never forget. And we’ll catch the guys. We’ll get them.”

Now he’s pushing the leader of the cold case squad, Det. Sgt. Stacy Gallant, to look into the case again.

Tracey Bruney Murder (Part 2)

Girl, 6, found dead, foul play suspected
By Rosemarie Boyle
Globe and Mail
May 15, 1975

Metro Police suspect foul play in the death of a 6-year-old girl found yesterday in Etobicoke Creek hours after her mother left her miles away at school.
Tracey Ann Bruney of St. Clair Avenue West was discovered at 1 p.m. in the creek near the bridge at Lake Shore Road.  She was pronounced dead on arrival at Queensway General Hospital.

The girl’s mother told police she dropped the child off at the schoolyard of St. Clare Separate School t 8:55 a.m. yesterday.  The school is on Northcliffe Boulevard in the St. Clair Avenue and Dufferin Street area.

The child was not in class when the bell rang at 9 a.m., her teacher told police.

The parents, Earl Chambers and his young wife, Merle, interviewed early this morning after six hours of questioning at No. 21 Division in Etobicoke, said they were completely shaken.

“We have no enemies.  i don’t know how something like this could have happened to us.  I keep asking myself ‘Why'”  Mr Chambers, a machine operator, said in the family’s one-bedroom walkup apartment.

Mrs. Chambers, still wearing a scarf over pink sponge rollers in her hair, tried with difficulty to light a cigaret.

“She was such a good little girl and so happy..”  I questioned her this morning and she said she liked school and she liked her classmates.  I don’t know what to believe.”

She left Tracey at school at 8:55 a.m., seconds before the bell rang.  When the child did not return for lunch she began to worry.

“The next thing we knew we were at the police station.”  Mr Chambers said.

Tracey was Mrs. Chamber’s child from a previous marriage.

Mrs. Chambers and Tracey came to Canada from Dominica when the child was 10 months old.  The family recently moved from Rexdale.

While her husband was in the bedroom, Mrs. Chambers sat on the sofa with her face in her hands and worried about the cost of a funeral.

“I don’t know where we will get the money.  I’m not working and we don’t know how we’ll afford it.  Do you think the Government pays for things like this?”

In a flat emotionless voice, she said “Why would someone do this?”

“All the questions…How would we know why it happened”

Herbert Howard, principal at the school, said last night Tracey had only been a pupil at St. Clare since April 28.

“The school is about 500 yards from her home so it is doubtful that someone would take her from school,” he said.

“She got along very well with other kits and fitted right in.  She seemed to enjoy school and her teacher said she was a good student.”

The family’s apartment, situated above a restaurant, was guarded last night by police on the stairs leading up to the apartment and on the street outside.

Police went to the restaurant below several times to question the staff and patrons.  Inside the apartment police searched every room.

Police refused to say where the child’s mother was.  Police reports that shew as being interviewed in No. 14 station on Eglinton Avenue proved false.

An autopsy performed last night indicated the girl died of drowning police said.

Mrs Chambers is a housewife. The couple have a 3-year-old daughter, Terri.

Last night Terri, who had accompanied her parents while they awaited the postmortem results, stood in the middle of the crowded livingroom as though in a daze.  She looked up at the two uniformed policemen in wonder as her parents searched the apartment for a picture to give police and reporters.

Police ask anyone who may have seen the girl in the schoolyard or elsewhere to call the duty inspector at 567-2347.

She is described as black, four feet tall, weighing 53 pounds and having short brown hair.  She was wearing a cream-colored short spring coat, blue jeans, a blue long-sleeved T-shirt and white sandals.

Globe and Mail, Friday May 16, 1975
Police say girl beaten before death

Metro homicide police believe 6-year-old Tracey Ann Bruney was severely beaten on the head and thrown into Etobicoke Creek where she was found on Wednesday.  An autopsy revealed the child died by drowning.  Her body was discovered by Mark Norrie, 13, of Lake Shore Road East at 13, of Lake Shore Road East at 1:05 p.m. while he was playing in Marie Curtis park.  The body was in 18 inches of water near a bridge at Lake Shore Road.  She was fully clothed and had not been sexually molested, police said.

The girl disappeared Wednesday after her mother, Merle Chambers of St. Clair Avenue West, left her in the schoolyard of St. Clare Separate School on Northcliffe Boulevard, about 500 yards from the family’s home, police said.  She was found dead 10 miles away.  Police said they have no suspects.

Toronto Star, May 20, 1975

The black plastic purse in which 5-year-old Tracey Ann Bruney carried her lunch to school just before she disappeared last Wednesday was found in a yard at the weekend, police said today.

The girl’s body was found about 1 p.m. the day she disappeared, about 120 miles away in Etobicoke Creek at Marie Curtis Park.  Police have offered a $2,000 reward for information leading to the person or persons suspected of killing her.

An autopsy showed she had drowned, but before death ha d received a number of bruises and cuts on her head and neck.

The purse was found in a yard on Northcliffe Blvd. near St. Clare Separate School where Tracey was a kindergarten pupil.

Globe and Mail, May 21, 1975
Bag was dead girl’s, Metro police find

Metro police have confirmed a black school bag found on Monday in a Northcliffe Boulevard backyard belonged to Tracey Ann Bruney, 5, who was beaten and left to drown in Etobicoke Creek last Wednesday.

Staff Sergeant Jack McBride of the homicide squad said there is no doubt in his mind that the vinyl shoulder bag is the one Tracey used to carry to her kindergarten class at St. Clare Separate School on Northcliffe Boulevard.  The bag was found less than a block from the school.

Her parents, Earl and Merle Chambers of St. Clair Avenue West, will be asked to identify the bag today.

Tracey was buried yesterday after a service at St. Anne’s Anglican Church on Gladstone Avenue.  About 35 people, including the principal and teachers from her school, attended.

Today, police will canvass residents on Northcliffe Boulevard, which is near St. Clair Avenue West and Dufferin Street, and near the creek for new leads.  Thus far, there are no suspects, police said.

Police have e offered $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the child’s killer.

Tracey was last seen by her mother, who took her to school at 8:55 a.m. last Wednesday.  Four hours later she was found 10 miles away in the creek. in Marie Curtis Park.  An autopsy revealed she had been severely beaten and drowned.

Toronto Star, May 30, 1975

A $5,000 reward is now being offered for the arrest and conviction of whoever beat Tracey Anne Bruney, 5, and threw her into Etobicoke Creek to drown.

The little girl disappeared May 14 after her mother, Mrs. Earl Chambers of St. Clair Ave. W., dropped her off at school.  Her body was found later that same day about 10 miles from the school, and police are seeking anyone who can help p them track down how the girl got from the school to Marie Curtis Park.

The increased reward, up from $2,000, was approved yesterday by the Board of Police Commissioners.

Toronto Star, May 1, 1976
Child drowned

Little Tracey Ann Bruney’s bruised body was pulled out of the water in Etobicke Creek on May 14 last year, less than four hours after she disappeared.
The pretty 5-year-old had been drowned – deliberately in about 18 inches of water under the bridge of Lakeshore Blvd.

She was taken there, police believe, after being abducted near St. Clare School at Northcliffe Blvd and St. Clair Ave. W., where she should have attended a morning kindergarten class.  She was seen alive a few minutes before class started.

Tracey was then taken more than 10 miles across town and murdered in the creek in Marie Curtis Park.

Tracey, just 3 feet 7 inches tall and weighing only 43 pounds, was seen face down in clean water by a young boy playing in the park about 11:30 a.m.  He dashed home and told his mother, who called police.

Homicide detectives believe someone may have seen Tracey as she was being taken across town to her death.  She was wearing a gray-green cloth, hip-length coat with button4d front, dark blue turtleneck sweater, medium-blue corduroy slacks, white socks and white striped sandals.

The child, who wore her born, short curly hair in braids, was carrying a black vinyl shoulder-strap bag, 6 inches by 8 inches.

“She was a cute little kid,” said one detective.  “We can’t imagine any reason for this killing.  She had not been molested.”

Tracey Bruney Murder


At 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14th, 1975, a teenage boy walking through Marie Curtis Park found the body of 5-year-old Tracey Ann Bruney in 18 inches of water near a bridge in Etobicoke Creek, 15 km from the youngster’s home. She had died of drowning, but there were cuts and bruises all over her head and neck from a beating administered by her killer. An autopsy showed she had not been sexually assaulted. She was last seen alive by her mother at 9a.m., when she was dropped off at St. Clare Catholic School on Northcliffe Blvd. On the weekend, Tracey’s purse was found in a yard on Northcliffe Blvd., suggesting someone forcefully pulled her into a car near the school.

Police using 2014 technology to solve little girl’s 1975 murder

By Michele Mandel, Toronto Sun
First posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 06:59 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, May 15, 2014 08:59 PM EDT
TORONTO – Somewhere, her murderer has escaped justice for almost four decades now.
When five-year-old Tracey Ann Bruney was snatched from school and drowned in May 1975, there was no such thing as social media. The sad story of her murder was played out in the newspapers and on radio and TV newscasts but within a year, it was not heard about at all.
Just another unsolved murder for the records and an unknown tragedy to the rest of us.
But no more.
Toronto Police Det.-Sgt. Brian Borg took to Twitter last week to announce that he was now using social media as a tool to investigate more than 550 unsolved murders that remain on their books. Using anniversaries of the murders and birthdays of the victims, the veteran homicide detective plans to tweet details of each one.

Tracey’s murder was the first: “Tracey Ann BRUNEY 5yr never made it to her morning kindergarten class at St Clare Separate School on May 15 1975 Can you help?” The photo is black and white, grainy and unfocused, of a smiling child who slipped in and out of this city in such a short period of time.
News stories of the day recount that she was 10-months-old when she was sent back to live with her maternal grandmother in Dominica while her mother Merle tried to establish herself financially. Her mom went on to marry machinist Earl Chambers and together they had a daughter, Terry.
In December 1974, Tracey was brought back to Toronto to be reunited with her mom and to meet her stepdad and new half-sister. Just five months later, she was dead.
The family had recently moved from Rexdale into an apartment above a restaurant on St. Clair Ave. W. Her mother told police she had dropped her daughter off outside St. Clare Catholic School just around the corner on Northcliffe Blvd. where Tracy had been attending morning kindergarten for several weeks. She never made it to her classroom.
“Tracey was so happy with us and she laughed all the time,” her mom told the Sun at the time. “When she didn’t come home at lunch hour, I went back to the school to look for her but no one had seen her.”
While Chambers was frantically looking in her neighbourhood, 13-year-old Mark Norrie was playing in Marie Curtis Park about 16 kilometres away when he saw a girl lying face down in Etobicoke Creek. He ran home to tell his mother, who quickly called police.
Officers responded shortly after 1 p.m. and attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But it was too late. Tracey was pronounced dead at Queensway General Hospital. “The official cause of death was drowning but the post-mortem showed a number of injuries consistent with physical assault,” Borg explains. She was not sexually assaulted.
Her mom was taken to the hospital to identify her.
“I told them it couldn’t be Tracey. But then I went in and they pulled the sheet back from her face and I could see it was her,” Chambers recalled the following day.
“Why is it that children pay for everything? Why do we always turn on the radio and hear of children being kidnapped or killed?”
A month later, a Sun feature story questioned whether there was a child killer responsible for the deaths of Tracey and another little girl as well as the disappearance of three other kids between Toronto and Hamilton that year.
Tracey was just a tiny doll of a child — 3-foot-7, weighing all of 43 pounds, her black curly hair in braids, dressed in a grey cloth coat, blue turtleneck and blue pants. “It was a terrible case,” Borg says after reading the file. “I see nothing here that indicates to me that the family were suspects. We didn’t get very far with the investigation. A number of rewards were issued over time which didn’t provide any investigative leads.”
Now four decades later comes a tool that helps detectives reach out for new clues. “Time is a friend in cold cases because people change,” he says. So Borg is hoping his tweets may jog someone’s memory — or their conscience — to help solve the identity of who killed this innocent little girl.
A child still waiting for justice, all these years along.

London, Ont., was world’s ‘serial killer capital’: UWO prof

During 25-year period, there were 32 homicides, with all victims being women, children, author says

CBC News Posted: Aug 31, 2015 5:00 AM ETLast Updated: Mar 20, 2016 11:09 AM ET

Was the killer of Tracey Bruney a serial killer from London, Ontario?

In 1975, we have five-year-old Tracey Bruney in Etobicoke. In 1981, we have Erick Larsfolk in the company of his best friend, John McCormack. Neither body have ever been found. Do you believe this is all connected to the man that he referred to as the neighbour?

London was serial killer capital

At first glance, London, Ont., doesn’t seem like the type of place that would harbour a serial killer, but a new book has revealed it may have been a more dangerous place than meets the eye.

Only 192 kilometres southwest of Toronto, the city became the “serial killer capital of the world” from 1959 to 1984, according to Michael Arntfield, a criminology professor at the University of Western Ontario. With only a population of roughly 200,000 people at the time, the city may have had as many as six serial killers, more per capita than everywhere else on the planet.

In his new book, Murder City: The Untold Story of Canada’s Serial Killer Capital, Arntfield reveals the dark history of the Forest City. Thanks to the work of an OPP detective who followed his hunches and took detailed notes while following the killings, more is known about suspected murders who wreaked havoc in the area.

Arntfield, who also served as a London police officer for 15 years, analyzed 32 homicides, all the victims being women and children, over a 15-year period.  Some of those cases were solved, but most of the remaining homicides were likely the work of serial killers, the author contends.

Monsters such as the Mad Slasher, Chambermaid Slayer and Balcony Killer are suspected of having roamed the city’s streets. Some of the murderers were never captured, Arntfield says, but he suspects they escaped to Toronto, where they continued to harm the innocent.

The author of this chilling book sat down with CBC Toronto host Dwight Drummond to discuss this disturbing period. The following is a condensed and edited version of the interview:

You owe much of the information to OPP officer Dennis Alsop, how important was his documentation to your research?

It is extraordinarily important. A lot of the stuff that happened during this period, there is no other living record of it — much of it was thought to have been lost to history. But he took the time to diligently document his thoughts, his hunches, his findings, things that could be acted on but also things that would go no further than him.

And ultimately contained in that codex, as I call it — the basement book of the dead — are answers to these cases and he knew they couldn’t die with him so he left them behind to be found as a sort of a time capsule. His son then gave them to me knowing my work at the university with respect to unsolved homicides.

Let’s talk about one of the alleged killers, a man you identify as the neighbour.

After great deliberation and consultation with the families in the first of the murders, I’ve decided not to name him or reveal any other identifying information about him other than he was the neighbour of the first victim, Frankie Jensen, in February 1968. There is no question in looking at Dennis’s documents from this period, his diary entries, his own thoughts, his own narrative, that the neighbour was responsible. and the steps taken by the neighbour to avoid capture and elude investigators really speak to that.

After the first murder, he then targeted a second boy in the London area, [but] Dennis was not given the go ahead to make an arrest.

What happens next is Dennis stays on him, conducts surveillance on his own time, never really gives him any breathing room, so he leaves town.

In 1975, we have five-year-old Tracey Bruney in Etobicoke. In 1981, we have Erick Larsfolk in the company of his best friend, John McCormack. Neither body have ever been found. Do you believe this is all connected to the man that he referred to as the neighbour?

We then see four remarkably similar murders — in terms of ammunition and signature — in the Toronto area in the immediate vicinity of the area, in which he is living at the time after moving from London.

While these lives are being taken in Toronto, Alsop is trying to sound the alarm to his superiors that this is the work of a serial killer and it started in London and has moved to Toronto.

In the book, there is a very chilling document that was found in his codex … and it is the first of several teletype transmissions he sent, like an early version of a fax, and it is sent to the higher ups in Toronto saying, listen, London is under siege by [what he refers to as] sexual psychopaths, which is not a common term certainly for a police officer to be using at the time. He is saying there are at least two or more sexual psychopaths preying on this city. We need reinforcements. He was effectively alone in the hinterland. And there is no evidence there was any response. It fell on deaf ears and really the city was left to its own devices with him as the sole person chasing these killers.

Why London?

They call it the Forest City, forests are picturesque and suggest a sort of bucolic nice tranquil place but there are also dark places that harbour secrets and dangerous people. There is something about the design of the city circumscribed by these remote areas, and this is why Dennis also inherited all these cases because victims were taken, abducted, murdered inside the city and taken or disposed of outside the city. He would inherit those cases because outside the city was purely OPP territory and at the time, that was the jurisdictional practice.