Graham Hugh Pearce, the 36-year-old Toronto gay man who bled to death from a stab wound in his neck in 1983. His roommate found him on the bathroom floor the afternoon after he was killed.
Detectives on Friday said they solved the decades-old murder of a Toronto school teacher that rattled the city’s gay community in 1983.
Graham Pearce, 36, was last seen when he parted ways with a friend after spending a Saturday night at a series of gay bars in downtown Toronto, police said. The next day, his roommate returned to their High Park apartment in the afternoon and found Pearce dead on the floor of his bathroom with a stab wound in his throat.
Days after the murder, police said they expected the killer “was probably a guest at Pearce’s apartment,” reads a Toronto Star clipping from 1983.
It was among a series of killings that prompted gay community leaders and activists to warn men “to be careful whom they meet in downtown bars,” the Star reported that year. “To put an end to the problem, society has to start accepting homosexuals,” one activist told the paper.
After urging from Pearce’s family, police reopened the case in 2013. Technological advancements in fingerprinting and forensics allowed detectives to figure out who was with Pearce in his apartment the morning of March 20, 1983 when he was killed, Toronto Police Det.-Sgt. Stacy Gallant said.
On Friday, Gallant said he was now certain who the killer was, but refused to identify the man. He died in 2001, and since Toronto Police only publicly identify people who have been formally charged, the man will not be identified, police said. If he were alive, Gallant said, he would be arrested and charged.
Gallant said after Pearce left his friend, he met another man who he brought back to his apartment. They had never met before that night, Gallant said.
It’s still unclear what led the man to apparently stab Pearce to death — and since the only two men who are believed to have been in the apartment are now dead, it’s likely to stay a mystery.
Police don’t believe it was a hate crime, however. Gallant said the suspect was also “a member of the gay community.”
In April, 2016, Gallant identified Ronald Thomas Gale, who was 22 in 1983, as a “person of interest” in the cold case, hoping Gale’s friends and family would come forward with information. On Friday, Gallant refused to say whether Gale is believed to be the killer. But a source confirmed to the National Post that the “person of interest” identified in April is the same man referred to as the killer in Friday’s release.
Gale died in 2001.
Gallant said the killer was known to police and his fingerprints were on file. The man believed to have killed Pearce isn’t suspected of any other murders and he wasn’t charged with a murder while he was alive, Gallant said.
This article was sourced from http://newsvideodownload.com