Tuesday, January 12, 1993

Kevin Hann

Front page


Writer claims to have seen Grayce baxter the night she was slain: p. 4.

Jail guard Dan Johnson, 23, appears at left in the ministry of correctional services ID card enclosed with a letter signed by Johnson and received at the Sun yesterday. Johnson appears in court today charged in the murder of transsexual hooker Grayce Baxter.

p. 4.

Accused writes

Charged with murder of transsexual

A jail guard accused of murdering a transsexual hooker penned a letter to the Sun before his arrest.

Patrick Daniel Johnson, 23 is now confined to a protective custody unit at Metro East Detention Centre in Scarboro.

He appears in court today charged in the first-degree murder of Grayce Baxter, 26, who vanished Dec. 8.

PATRICK DANIEL JOHNSON ... In court today facing first-degree murder charge.

GRAYCE BAXTER ... Transexual hooker vanished Dec. 8. Body hasn't been found.

Metro Police arrested Johnson Friday, after a man told detectives his friend had information about the killing and a letter sent to the Sun.

The handwritten, six page letter arrived in the newsroom yesterday, signed "Dan Johnson".

It begins: "Dear Friends, I am forwarding this letter to the Toronto Sun in hopes that they will publish this... and not have you only listen, read and talk hear say (sic) and gossip."

A friend, who requested anonymity, said Johnson told him the letter prior to his arrest.

Contained in the envelope was a Ministry of Corrections identification card bearing Johnson's photo and signed "Dan Johnson".

The 23-year-old North York man was employed as a "casual" guard -- on contract basis -- who filled vacancies when full-time staff were on vacation or summoned to other duties.

In the letter, he claims to have seen "Graycie" the night she was allegedly murdered, and that she was drunk. "I want to let the guys at the Don know I never knew she was once a he ... so quit the jokes," he writes.

And the author claimed to have just spent three days "having nothing but sex with my Quebec girlfriend ... doing it 14 times ...then stop cold fish."

In a moment of introspection and references to God, he claims to be "good hearted" beneath his exterior as a "big, tough weightlifter the womanizer, the loudmouth and joker."

An entire page lists numerous friends and co-workers, about who he recalled fond memories. They included: "Tim: Like the brother I never had ... Guy: Thanks for making me laugh ... and Randy, Jeff, Willie, Black, McCarthy, Doug MacDonald and all the boys."

Toronto Don jail officials refused comment yesterday on Johnson's employment record.

But one colleague said, "It's a very sad, sad situation ... it's a pretty difficult time for all of us."

Det. Sgt. Tony Warr, of the homicide squad, said the letter will undergo forensic testing with evidence seized from Johnson's apartment on Wynford Heights Cres.

Warr wouldn't say whether police know where Baxter's body was dumped.

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Created: July 15, 1997
Last modified: October 7, 1997

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