Saturday, August 10, 1996

Alan Cairns

Metro cops seek links to hooker murders -- B.C. supsect here in '94

Metro homocide detectives are taking a close look at a Burnaby, B.C., man under investigation for a series of attacks on Vancouver women.

Dawson Davidson, 32, was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault in a Monday attack on a Vancouver prostitute.

He is also a potential suspect in a five-week spree of predatory attacks that left three women in a coma and five others badly injured. All victims were beaten on the head. Dawson drew the attention of Metro police with Vancouver confirmed he lived here in 1994.

Det. John Line, who's investigating the murders of prostitutes Virginia Lee Coote and Julieanne Middleton, said he's "absolutely interested" in Davidson, the nature of the Vancouver attacks "how long he was here."

Middleton, 23, was a mother and part-time hooker who's partially nude body was found July 7, 1994, off Sunnyside Beach south of the Parkdale strip where she worked. She had been choked and then drowned, an autopsy determined.

Coote 33, a Parkdale crack addict and prostitute, was found Oct. 28, 1994, about 100 yards from where Middleton was found. She had been strnagled and there were other signs of violence which police have not disclosed.

There were similarities also in the murder of street worker Simone Sandler, 21, found in the Keating Channel at the mouth of the Don River, July 31, 1994. She died from asphyxiation. A plastic bag was tied around her head.

In 1996, Davidson was arrested in Vancouver and confessed to attacked on four women in Toronto and on the west coast during a six-week spree that summer. Davidson, then 21, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

When he was arrested this week, after a screaming women alerted rescuers, sourced says Davidson had a roll of duct tape and a blunt object in his possession. The women told police her assailant picked her up in an area frequented by prostitutes. She said he drove her to a back lane where he began beating her and trying to tie her up.

Davidson's mother, Diana, is a prominent Vancouver lawyer and a recipient of the order of Canada.

Toronto News 1996... [news menu] [main menu]

Created: August 9, 1996
Last modified: August 11, 1996

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