You are on page 1of 5

COLD CASES 2011: RECENT UNSOLVED GAY-RELATED MURDERS by James Dubro "There is an elephant in the room and no one

is talking about it', blurted out a rtist Marilyn Martin to a hushed Memorial gathering She was one of a small group in a hard to find room tucked away in the large Gothic University of Toronto bu ilding on Spadina Crescent on Jan 18, 2011. It was ten years to the day that 50 year old David Buller, a respected gay artist and professor of art, a department housed in this spooky nineteenth century structure, was found bruta lly murdered in his office. According to police Buller had been working at his computer on that afternoon when he was attacked and stabbed repeatedly by an int ruder whom police say was someone well known to him. The elephant that Martin broke into the quiet reminiscences to talk about was t he suspected killer. As Karyn Sandlos, Buller's niece who was present put it, " At the memorial..people discussed, in hushed tones, their ideas about what happe ned . There was a sense of urgency that the person who murdered David ten years ago was still out there, and that this person may also be in our midst." For Martin and some of the other friends present there is little doubt that th e chief suspect is a former art student who was terrorizing the art department a t the time with his bizarre, threatening behavior. Martin said she had warned po lice and two professors before the murder of the troubled student who had been is some of her classes, was one of Bullers' students and perhaps even a model fo r some of his edgy homoerotic art. He had written threatening letters to professors including Buller. [For a look at his sexually graphic gay themed art see agePref=en&mkey=63896&link_id=1629 "The student I am referring was off the wall in classes. During critiques one da y he spent the entire class pacing at the back of the classroom with an Exacto k nife in his hand. We made sure our Professors were never alone with him... I cal led campus police and city police and several friends who are psychiatrists to t ry and deal with the situation. Since the murder these professors have told me that he had a "Kill" list and their names w ere also on it. . Both are terrified of him. He was clearly schizophrenic...." According to Martin he once chillingly said to another student she overheard "I could have you killed." But police say the suspect student had a good alibi, but Martin continues to bel ieve that he likely did the killing and does not have "a viable alibi." Members of Buller's family also referred to another suspect --someone Buller kne w well and who was an employee of the University of Toronto at the time and may still be there. In early March 2011, after U of T Accountant Allan LAnteigne was found brutally murdered Karyn Sandlos said by email that she had "contacted the police and ou tlined some possible points of connection" with her uncle's murder 10 years earl ier. ( This included possible involvement of someone in the accounting departmen t at U of T. she said.) Police "assured us they would look into these possibilities. The police have neither confirmed nor denie d a connection. They simply said they were comparing notes on the two cases." When asked about this Det Sgt Dan Nielsen, the officer in charge of the Lanteign

e investigation said that there are no connections that he has been able to dete rmine yet. Could this be yet another dead end in a ten year old cold case? Inspector Ken Taylor, one of the original investigators of the murder and still at Homicide, says that he often "wakes up in the middle of the night thinking a bout the case." Police have offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the capture of B uller's killer. Sadly, a much larger reward offered by cops and family--over $100,000 in all-- h as not helped police at all in their search for the murderer(s) of 28 year old C hris Skinner, an openly gay man beaten and driven over by an SUV on the morning of Oct 18 2009 on Adelaide street near Victoria in downtown Toronto. Skinner was coming home from birthday drinks with his sister in the Entertainmen t district. Stacey Gallant who is the lead homicide investigator says that in sp ite of the large reward and his lengthy research, that the homicide detectives o n the case have now "exhausted all investigative avenues". But what happened that evening and why? According to Gallant, at 3 am Skinner ha d been assaulted in front of the SUV by several men in a thirty second altercati on on the street (perhaps started said Gallant by Skinner accidentally tapping t he dark SUV while he was walking down Adelaide towards home still looking for a taxi and slightly "tipsy" as Gallant put it. There was road construction too so Skinner had to walk in the middle of the street. Some in the gay community think it was a gay bashing which led to th e ultimate hate crime, but Gallant said there is not evidence of this yet. The men (at least two maybe three according to witnesses) went back into their c ar, and the driver then fatally drove over Skinner. None of the witnesses in th e other cars passing saw the license plate. Unfortunately real life is very different from television shows like CSI and oth er TV forensic crime shows which often portray how pictures can be blown up and people and license plates easily identified. The "CSI effect " as many homicide investigators and prosecutors now call it, has made both the public and juries e xpecting to have detailed forensic information for every murder. In this case th e many street video cameras. But as Gallant says, " "While there is lots of vide o 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." As for motive for the murder Gallant says: "We cannot know what was in their min d--perhaps the assault was meant to teach a lesson..." Some lesson. For now Gallant says that homicide unit cannot do anything more than now then "j ust wait" for one of the men in the car to come forward/ As for what he say to say to the killer, Gallant is direct in his plea to the ki ller on the homicide website: "You know exactly what happened and why it happened. You need to look inside you rself and consider if you can live with this for the rest of your life. You were in a vehicle that ran over another human being leaving him to die on the roadwa y." Gallant hopes that the guilt of the killer "will weigh heavily on him for the re st of his life" and that perhaps the driver will tell the story to a friend who may yet come forward to police. The investigation is at a complete stand

still as police wait for a confession by someone.Unfortunately, it may be a ver y long wait as the police investigation has come all but to a close for now. Yet another unsolved case is that of Cassandra Do, a 32 year old Vietnamese born pre-op, trans sex worker who was brutally strangled to death at her 60 Gloucest er Street apartment on Aug 26 2003. Known on the street as "Tula", Do,who was just about to finish h er nursing studies. was popular, glamorous looking & well liked. The case was investigated by a homicide team led by Det Sgt Craig Sanson who had hoped that the caae would be solved based on suspect descriptions police had (A tall black man of about 230 -350 pounds between 30-40 years old) and DNA evidence left at t he scene that matched the DNA evidence of a 1997 sex assault on Jarvis against a female sex worker. But while they had the DNA there was no match within the system. Unlike England where over 5% of the population are in a national DNA database, in Canada only a quarter o f one percent are in a database. Sanson thinks it should be easier to take DNA from criminals as they are booked (today it is just limited to those charged wit h violent sexual offences) as it is 'a key investigative tool." So, until the time the suspected killer leaves his DNA somewhere else and is cau ght for another rape or murder the case will probably remain a very cold one. "I t is very frustrating having DNA evidence which is an excellent clue--and to get no real results [matches from files] which goes nowhere in the end" said San son. Sanson is now retried from the police and no homicide officer is looking into th e case which now requires a new initiative from the Cold case squad, but for tha t the police need new evidence. As Det Sgt Steve Ryan, the current head of the s quad says "There is a real reason that cold cases are cold, and the biggest challenge is to find fresh witnesses so that the squad can reopen the case..." There is also the unsolved murder of Barn owner Janko Naglic (Oct 2004) which sh ould be a "cold Case' but is not on the Toronto Police cold case list or website . Lead investigator Det Sgt Wayne Banks, the man who led the case against former Naglic lover Ivan Mendes Romero who was found not guilty in a sensational 3 wee k 2008 murder trial, says "that the case is closed and nothing is being actively investigated." There is also the unsolved case of the 2008 murder of Ross Magill which Xtra upd ated April 21 2011 and the March 4 2011 murder of U of T accountant Allan Lantei gne. Both of these unsolved gay-related murder cases are in the hands of veteran lead investigator Det Sgt Dan Nielsen who says that the Magill case is b eing "very actively pursued, but he has had to spend "much of the last few weeks " investigating the Lanteigne murder. *** AUTHOR"S TAG NOTE: James Dubro has been researching and writing about gayrelated cold cases for Xtra for several years and is the author of many true cri me books as well as the former President of the Crime Writers of Canada

SIDEBAR? NB--A Gay serial Killer murdering young men?-SIDEBAR OR OUT FOR NOW & F OR LATER MORE IN DEPTH FEATURE??? (now 750 words) This is the story of OPP cold cases involving at least 3 murdered young men kill ed by a gay serial killer and whose unidentified skeletons were found in rural a reas in the 1960's and in 1980. Many years later--beginning in 2005 their faces were re constructed by cold case specialists at the OPP and now 2 of the 3 been positive ly identified after almost 40 years) In 2008, after an in depth "W5" TV show on

the case, the first boy was identified as 18 year old "Dickie" Hovey a guitarist from Nova Scotia who had come to Yorkville to seek recognition. Cops have more recently identified the second boy as Eric Jones, a 17 year old Torontonian living with his aunt. The third skeleton only had a faci al reconstruction released in 2010 as reported on in Xtra at the time. He is a y oungish Markham man (25-40) 5'6' 100-110 lb, cross dresser? (ladies red high hee ls found next to his body along with a cosmetic compact.) All the victims (including several still unsolved but not included in the OPP co ld cases reopened) were young men of similar builds, brutally murdered, found na ked in remote places a short drive from Toronto, most with their hands similarly bound. The only suspect listed on the OPP cold case website is a "muscular a black male who drove a Chevrolet Corvair." whose car young Hovey was last seen entering in Toronto in the summer 1967. Police have more or less confirmed that their suspect is Torontonian , James H enry (Greenidge) a 72 year old convicted murderer serving a life sentence in British Columbia for the 1981 murder and rape of a 24 year old woman (He appears to be a rare bisexual serial killer with victims of both sexes.) Greenidge (as he was then known before he legally changed his name to Henry) was living in Toronto in 1867 and was known i n gay circles which then had very few black men in it. He lived for a time at th e home of two employees of Secrett Jewel Salon at the Park Plaza Hotel on Avenue Road (they lived in an apartment near the store on Ave Road. Greenidge was having an affair with one of them-- Jack Bunting. The other roommate was the late gay activist B ob Tivey who died of cancer in March 2011 at 68. In interviews with Xtra over th e past four years Tivey has outlined his interactions with Greenidge and express ed his fears

Greenidge was first convicted of a violent crime in 1955 after he raped a girl n ear his Euclid St home in Toronto. In 1962 he was convicted of assault causing b odily harm after he beat a man in a Toronto movie theatre. Greenidge spent time in 1967 at Tivey's apartment on Avenue Rd while he had an affair with his Bunting. Tivey said Bunting met Greenidge at the St Char roommate, the late Jack Baby es Tavern. Tivey said he was horrified when in 1968 Greenidge was arrested and later onvicted of the Mortimer murder and the attack on the man who barely survived. G reenidge was paroled in 1977 after serving 10 years. He was not in prison when t he Markham victim was killed.

The last time Tivey says he saw Greenidge was at a steam bath in Vancouver in 1 981. Tivey was working at the tubs and denied him entry. Tivey says he is still shocked at how close he came to this killer. I could have been a victim of Jimmy Gre enidge, he says. I came very close to it. He offered me a ride to Expo 67 [in Montrea ] and I accepted but later I got cold feet for some reason. Weeks later he was c harged with murder and attempted murder. My God, I thought, it could have been me. I was really freaked out. It was very chilling . I met Jimmy Gre enidge two times and certainly do not want to meet him a third time. Greenidge/Henry is eligible to apply for parole again in less than three years ( 2014) but OPP and BC police are watching this process closely and are planning t estify at parole hearing to make sure he stays behind bars because of his many c rimes for which he has already been convicted. He has yet to be charged with kil ling any of the young men whose faces have been so painstakingly reconstructed a nd now all but one identified many decades later. ---

This is the story of the OPP cold cases....