Toronto murder mystery: “The Reluctant Virgin”
The “The Reluctant Virgin” is a murder mystery about a serial killer that haunts the streets and ravines of Toronto. The murderer drains the blood of the victims in a mysterious ritual that baffles the two detectives assigned to the case. The city of Toronto is featured in the novel to such an extent that those who are familiar with the city will be able to visualize the crime scenes. The first murder is committed in the darkness of the Humber Valley, a short distance north of Eglinton Avenue.
A passage from “The Reluctant Virgin” :
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.
Later, after the body has been discovered, Samuel Mann, the coroner, tells detective Thompson and his partner Jim Peersen:
The coroner asserted testily, “This is a preliminary report. Nothing is gospel until after the autopsy.”
“Tell us as much as possible,” Thomson urged, feigning politeness. He was well aware that Mann never voiced an opinion in ten words if were able to employ fifty.
“I don’t think the victim was attacked where they discovered her body, but she died here. There’s almost no blood. Strange! Have you found another site?”
“Leave that to us Sam. Get on with it,” Thomson insisted impatiently.
Mann continued, his irritation with Thomson clearly evident. “The severe lacerations on the right side, at the front of the woman’s skull, indicate that the killer struck her with a blunt instrument, likely a rock, as the gashes are jagged. It was a severe blow, struck very forcibly. It suggests extreme anger, perhaps rage. Have you found the murder weapon?”
“For God’s sake Mann, keep going,” Thomson replied, his annoyance increasing.
“The cause of death was likely severe head trauma, but not necessarily, as the whites of the eyes reveal significant reddening, which may suggest asphyxia. The autopsy will determine the exact cause of death. There are no signs of a struggle, no defensive wounds, and no marks on the body to indicate that the killer tied her up. I found no extraneous material under her fingernails. At the morgue, I’ll scrape under her fingernails and examine the contents microscopically. I believe that she either knew her attacker or it happened too fast for her to defend herself.”
“Was she raped?”
“There are severe lacerations around the vagina. The sex act was extremely violent. The sex most likely occurred after she was unconscious. Considering the injuries that are evident, for her sake, I certainly hope so.”
Samuel continued. “It’s difficult to determine the exact time of death as the heat and lack of movement of air in the underbrush have accelerated the decomposition. The rain also destroyed evidence. That’s all I can tell you until I, and the chief coroner, perform the autopsy.”
Thomson and Peersen ignored Mann’s egocentric use of the language and gazed silently at Samuel Mann as he strutted from the scene, adjusting his colourful bowtie as he departed.
Recovering, Peersen said. “Great! It’ll be a damn difficult case to solve—a body found in an isolated location and no witnesses.”
To read further details of this crime and other murders in “The Reluctant Virgin” : A direct link to the publisher of this book:
The first book in the Toronto Trilogy
Awarded “Editor’s Choice”
A heart-Warming Story of Coming-of-Age during the 1940s in Toronto
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn found adventure on the banks of the mighty Mississippi. Tom Hudson and his friend Shorty discovered it in the secluded laneways and avenues of a deceptively quiet Toronto neighbourhood.
“Arse Over Teakettle” is an intriguing tale of Tom Hudson’s boyhood in Toronto during the 1940s. He and his mischievous friend, Shorty, encounter eccentric characters such as Grumpy, an unconventional older man in the neighbourhood, and their fierce neighbour, Mrs. Leyer. Their confrontations with the Kramer gang are sometimes painful and at other times hilarious. As Tom and his friends become sexually aware, amusing situations develop. Shorty constantly pushes Tom to explore beyond the secure boundaries of childhood, into the world of the “big boys.”
An intimate and heartfelt tale of family life in Toronto, “Arse over Teakettle” is set during the decade when the city is transforming from a parochial city into a cosmopolitan urban centre. In Tom’s neighbourhood, difficulties arise as he confronts ethnic and religious prejudice, which wounds his boyhood friends.
This book is an excellent gift for those who enjoy reading about Toronto’s past.
“Arse Over Teakettle” is available through Amazon.com, Chapters/Indigo book stores.
The 524-page book contains over 70 photographs of Toronto during the 1940s and early-1950s.
To order directly from the publisher (double right-hand click of the mouse): http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000132634/Arse-Over-Teakettle.aspx
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To view previous posts about movie theatres of Toronto—old and new
To view links to Toronto’s Heritage Buildings
Recent publication entitled “Toronto’s theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” by the author of this blog. The publication explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.
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