May 27, 1996

John Schmied

Homicide cops track red vans:
Slain hookers' case stymies cops

TORONTO - The hunt for a triple killer has become a chase for a vehicle.

A van-type vehicle described to police as having left the scene of one of last Monday's three murders is the best lead police have to catching the killer of three prostitutes.

"We're getting a fair response about similar-looking vehicles ... we have officers out tracking down" the tips, Metro Police homicide Det.-Sgt. Jim McDermott said yesterday.

The narrow, shiny-red, van-type machine with square headlights and a pink-colored roof light was seen by a citizen leaving the scene where one prostitute was shot in the head.

Brenda Ludgate, 25, a Parkdale-area hooker, was found minutes before midnight on Victoria Day in a parking lot on King St., just west of Bathurst St.

Shawn "Junior" Keegan, 19, was found two minutes later in a stairwell to an underground parking lot of an apartment building on Homewood Ave., in the Wellesley-Sherbourne Sts. area.

Tom "Deana" Wilkinson, 31, was found nine hours later behind a building virtually across the street from where Keegan's body was found.


About 300 showed up for a candlelight vigil in honoring the murder victims in Allan Gardens last night, a park bordered by the "hooker square" of Gerrard, Jarvis, Carlton and Church Sts.

Transvestites, sex-trade workers, uniformed Salvation Army workers, and controversial, Ryerson professor/hooker Gerald Hannon came to mourn.

"I think we're trying to find some strength in numbers, the will to go on," said Portia, a hooker.

Police patrolled the vigil, which included the hymn Amazing Grace and a poetry reading.

Anyone with information about the case or the vehicle is urged to contact police at (416) 808-7425, 808-7400, or Crime Stoppers at 222-TIPS.

More news about the murders...

[main menu] [news menu]

Created: November 13, 1996
Last modified: November 18, 1996

CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710