Thursday May 7, 1998

Rob Lamberti

p. 10 News.

Hooker deaths probed

Cops widen investigation after man held in attack

A man arrested yesterday while choking and sexually assaulting a prostitute is also being investigated for other sex crimes, including the unsolved murders of six prostitutes.

But Toronto Police were careful in saying the Parry Sound landscaper is not a suspect in the other sex attacks at this stage of the investigation.

Both the homicide and sex-assault squads were notified of the arrest following the 4 a.m. attack in the secluded Eastern Ave. parking lot near St. Lawrence St.

A man was arrested by police after a patrolling security guard saw him attacking the 24-year-old woman in a green Chevy pickup with a tan and brown interior. It has Ontario licence plate 882 OCS, and two sex workers groups claim the plate is on their "bad dates list."

The man choked the victim and told her he was a rapist, Street Workers Alliance spokesperson Anastasia Kuzyk said. "Yes, that was the phrase that was used," confirmed 51 Division Insp. Bill Blair.

Bad date

Sarah, a volunteer at Maggie's, said the plate was filed by a prostitute last week in a third-party report, a system allowing hookers to tell of violent attacks without identifying themselves.

She noted the report indicated the man wore a wedding band and claimed he was a bricklayer.

As well as other sex attacks, the man will be investigated in connection with unsolved slayings of prostitutes. "We're not saying he's a suspect in these crimes," said Sgt. Marilyn McCann. "He'll certainly be investigated the same way any other " person involved in sex crimes is.

"This man doesn't stand out with horns blaring," she said. "But.... his MO of the assault that took place (yesterday) leads us to believe that this man could possible be a suspect in other occurrences.

Blair said the man will be looked at "for everything outstanding" in sex crimes. "Well, there are a number of homicide related to prostitution, so I'm sure (the homicide squad is) going to look at anybody who's committing violent acts against prostitutes," he said. "But is there any direct connection with any outstanding homicide? I have to say no" at this time.

The cases include: Donna Oglive, 24, last March 8; Lisa Lynn Anstey, 21, on May 12, 1997; Darlene MacNeill, 35, was found Oct. 29, 1997; Therese Melanson and Florence Harrison, both 32, found murdered Jan. 5, 1997; Julieanne Middleton,23, was found strangled on July 7, 1994; and Virginia Lee Coote, 33, was found after being strangled.

Det.-Const. Charles Stearn noted that six of the dozen prostitute murders, both solved and unsolved, occurred in his downtown 51 Division since 1994.

Violent attack

In yesterday's attack, Stearn said the victim was picked up in the Sherbourne-Gerrard Sts. area and taken to the lot.

"It was a violent attack," said Stearn. He's appealing for other sex workers who may have been crime victims to come forward and see if they can identify the man in a photo line-up.

"He's known to police," Stearn said. Stearn also launched a pilot pamphlet campaign aimed at sex workers to report any crimes committed against them.

Pamphlets will also been given to johns telling them their names and vehicle information has ben recorded by police.

Daniel Harvey Atkinson, 41, of Parry Sound, is charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement.

More about Donna Oglive... [Toronto '98] [News by region] [News by topic]

Created: May 20, 1998
Last modified: May 21, 1998

CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710