A new television show debuting later this week is hoping to shed light on cold cases, including one episode which will focus on the bizarre murder of a University of Toronto professor.
The show is called To Catch a Killer and it brings together a group professionals with unique skills to try and uncover new clues and leads. The series debuts Saturday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
The third episode will look into the death of Toronto professor David Buller, who was violently stabbed in his office in January 2001.
The homicide took place during the middle of the day and there was never any DNA or fingerprints found at the scene.
Host of the show Michael Arntfield will lead a team of six people, including a psychotherapist and private investigator trying to unravel the mystery of Buller’s death.
“This is a case that strictly because of the bizarre seemingly inexplicable nature of it demanded answers,” Arntfield said, a police officer and professor in his own right.
The show was inspired by Arntfield's work at Western University in London, Ont., where he led a group of students called the Cold Case Society.
Renee Willmon, a biological anthropologist, was one of the group’s members.
In this case she re-created the wounds suffered by Buller to analyze their depth and placement.
“It really tells a visual narrative of what took place and that allows us to review that evidence in a new way that hadn't previously been done before,” she said.
The team has also looked at the crime scene, and mapping the layout, determined the killer knew the university building.
'The person knew David'
The findings have been presented to Buller's family who are cautiously hopeful.
“It was like for the first time in 13 years somebody is gathering all these disparate pieces and connecting the dots,” said niece Karyn Sandlos, adding that the findings reinforces their own beliefs about what may have happened.
“The person knew David,” she said. “His guard was down and you only do that with someone you know and you trust.”
The family hopes the episode about Buller’s death will spark someone’s memory and a tip could help end years of longing to know the truth.
“It’s like the person has been violently yanked from the world and your lives and it leaves this big gaping hole, this space,” Sandlos said.
Toronto Police have been given the show's final report on the case and have reviewed it. Sandlos has plans to fly in from Chicago later this week to meet with investigators.