Canada

Public's help needed in 40-year-old Ontario murders

Police in Ontario unveiled models and photographs of two suspected murder victims from nearly 40 years ago that may have a link to attacks on men picked up in the 1960s in downtown Toronto's gay neighbourhood.

Police in Ontario unveiled models and photographs of two suspected murder victims from nearly 40 years ago that may have a link to attacks on men picked up in the 1960s in downtown Toronto's gay neighbourhood.

They hope modern forensic technology and the public's input will help them solve the cases.

Facial reconstructions made from the remains of two unidentified bodies found near Orillia in the late 1960s. ((Courtesy of OPP))

Bothinvolved unidentified young men in their 20s whose bodies were discovered in wooded areas in Central Ontario. The first body was found in December 1967 in Balsam Lake Provincial Park; the second was found six months later near the village of Schomberg.

Investigators say there may be links between the reactivated cases and attacks in 1967 on two young men picked up in downtown Toronto who weretaken to rural areas outside the city and molested.

An arrest was made in those cases but no one was convicted.Police speculate that the victims in all four incidents may have been targeted because they were known to frequent Toronto's "gay village" area.

At a news conference in Orillia, cold case investigators unveiled models of the two victims' heads and shoulders. Forensic reconstruction techniques were used to reproduce the facial features of the two young men.

Other details that might stir memories and help identify them were also released.The jaw of one victim was easily dislocated, police said, and may have produced a clicking noise when he ate.

(CBC)

CBC's Nil Koksal, covering the news conference, says the latest forensic technology — including DNA testing — has helped the police reopen the case.

"But technology can only go so far," she says, "so police are asking for the public's help in this."

OPP Det.-Insp Dave Quigley said $50,000 was being offered for information leading to arrests and convictions in both cases.

"People are being asked to look back, please, 40 years," Quigley said, "for a young male, family member, friend or neighbour who went missing without an explanation."

Photos and maps of the crime scene wereon display at the news conference and are also on the Ontario Provincial Police website.

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