Nova Scotia

Halifax parents identify son's killer

A Halifax couple says they know who is responsible for the murder of their son six years ago.

'Murda Squad' are responsible, they say

David and Linda Reader say they think their son Jonathan was killed by a youth gang called the Murda Squad. (CBC)

A Halifax couple says they know who is responsible for the murder of their son six years ago.

Linda and David Reader said Friday that they believe their son, Jonathan, was killed by a youth gang known as the Murda Squad. They have passed on their information to the Halifax Regional Police.

Jonathan Reader, 19, was found lying unconscious and bleeding at the intersection of Dunbrack Street and Radcliffe Drive by a municipal worker at 4:10 a.m. on Aug. 7, 2005. He was just two blocks from his home.

That was a couple of hours after he was seen leaving the Pacifico nightclub in downtown Halifax where he had been dancing with friends. 

Reader died as a result of blunt trauma to the head. No one has ever been charged.

The Readers said they hope this new information will help lead police to the killer.

"I hope it shakes it up. I hope that those responsible in that group understand that the community now knows who you are," David Reader said Friday. "And I hope it shakes it up to the point that somebody comes forward so an arrest can be made."

A portrait of Jonathan Reader. (CBC)

Police confirm that Murda Squad was the focus of their investigation in the early days, and it hasn't been ruled out.

"We're a piece of information or two away from making an arrest," spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter said Friday.

"Now, that being said, if somebody decides that they'd rather work with us than become a potential suspect, they can come down and speak to our investigators and maybe give us the piece of information we need to go make an arrest."

 An arrest would offer some healing to the Readers, but it doesn't make life any easier.  

"Jon's life was very important to us and living without him is just unbearable," David Reader said. "And so to have this information, and to have the community still there for us is wonderful."

For the past six years the Readers and their neighbours have held a walk on the anniversary of Jon's death in order to keep his memory alive and remind his killers that they're not giving up.

But, the Readers said they're not going to hold the walk this year because it just brings back painful memories of when they learned of their son's death.