Sunday, April 5, 1998

Ian Robertson

p. 4 News

8 other murders remain unsolved

The discovery yesterday of two bodies in a Downsview industrial park brings to 10 the number of women whose killer's are still being hunted in the Toronto area.

While homicide officers remained closemouthed last night about the two young women found in the Finch Ave. W.-Dufferin St. area, evidence doesn't appear to be similar to the unsolved murders since 1997 of six prostitutes.

The killings of Donna Oglive, Darlene MacNeill, Florence Harrison, Julieanne Middleton and Virginia Lee Coote remain an police active lists -- each murder increasing pressure from women's groups and street sex workers groups on the Toronto Police Homicide Unit.

Two women were shot dead in a drug-infested public housing unit and three were strangled, but one was left fully clothed in a hooker track parking lot, and two were strangled and dumped partially nude in Lake Ontario:

  • Pregnant Vancouver prostitute Donna Oglive, 24, was strangled and left on a parking lot on March 8, 1998 in a downtown hooker track near Jarvis and Carlton Sts.

  • Harrison and Melanson, both 32, were shot before dawn on Jan. 5, 1997 in the 6th-floor stairwell of a Sackville St. public housing apartment building in Regent Park. They were fully clothed.

  • Police established a hooker murder task force last October, after Darlene MacNeill, 35, of Parkdale became the third prostitute killed in Toronto since 1994. She was strangled, dumped partially nude in Lake Ontario and drowned in 1997.

    Her murder came three years after the bodies of prostitutes Julieanne Middleton and Virginia Lee Coote were found three month apart on the shore of Lake Ontario, near Sunnyside in 1994. Middleton, 23, who drowned after being strangled, was found on July 7, 1994; Coote, 33, who was also drowned after being strangled, was found on Oct. 28, 1994.

  • That same year, movie extra casting recruiter Simone Sandler, 21, was murdered and dumped in the Don River. Her body was found July 31, 1994 in the Keating Channel with a plastic bag over her head.

  • Lastly, York Regional Police remain stumped about the identity of a young black woman whose badly burned body was found on Sept. 1, 1994 in an industrial area north of Downsview. She had been soaked in gasoline and set on fire in a pile of automobile tires.

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Created: April 26, 1998
Last modified: May 21, 1998

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