“The Reluctant Virgin” is a murder mystery about a serial killer in 1950s Toronto

Darkness is folding over the Humber River Valley as a young woman strolls the Humber Valley. She is unaware that she is being stalked. After she is murdered, the killer drains her blood, causing the police to suspect that an odd ritual was performed. The passage below describes the death of the woman. It is from “The Reluctant Virgin,” the second book in the Toronto Trilogy.


The woman’s pace was slow. Several times, she stopped to wipe away tears. Oblivious to her surroundings, she was unaware that someone was following her. She continued along the forested trail, the intense darkness having closed the valley against the outside world.

The stalker required no light to perceive the victim, her image burned forever into memory—shoulder-length blonde hair, attractive features, and a shapely body. The stalker cared nothing about her beauty. She was a threat.

Familiar with the contours of the landscape, the stalker walked briskly on an alternate trail to a position on the path ahead of her and waited, hidden among the pitch-black foliage, knowing that the woman would shortly pass by.

Her eyes misted with tears, the woman was stunned when a sinister shadow became human and sprung to life from the gloom surrounding her. She froze in her tracks as she stared at the apparition. The terrifying shape possessed eyes that glowed with hate. She recognized the eyes, which increased her shock.

She was unable to react as fear paralyzed her.

With only a moment’s hesitation, the stalker smashed a fist-sized rock against the young woman’s head. She collapsed. As she lay unconscious, the murder weapon was thrown into the river. Next, the stalker lifted the helpless victim, carried her away from the path beside the river, and dumped her into the thick undergrowth.

In the darkness amid the secluded bushes, the stalker sexually violated her, and when finished, executed a strange course of action. An observer might have mistaken it for a ritual.

The stalker’s face displayed no emotion while patiently waiting for the victim’s breathing to cease. When certain she was dead, the murderer slipped away into the impenetrable darkness, thinking no more of the corpse in the valley than if it had been a sack of garbage.

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