Susan Tice; Erin Gilmour
In July 1983, Susan Tice had moved to the neighbourhood known in Toronto, Canada as Little Italy. Susan and her husband had been living in Calgary, Alberta. They were separating, and Susan and her husband both moved to Toronto from Calgary, but lived in separate homes.
Susann was 45 years old and a mother of four children. She worked with disadvantaged children and had obtained a nursing degree from McMaster University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Toronto. She lived alone in her home at 341 Grace Street.
341 Grace Street, Susan’s home
On August 14, Susan returned home from visiting family out of town. In the days following, Susan’s brother-in-law had unsuccessfully trying to contact Susan. Susan hadn’t shown up to a family gathering, which was unusual for her. He was getting no answer and soon became concerned, showing up at Susan’s on the 17th of August around noon. He noticed mail had piled up and decided to enter her home to check on her. The relative entered Susan’s home and looked around for her. He wasn’t prepared for what he saw in Susan’s upstairs bedroom.
Susan’s body was in the bedroom. She was the victim of a grisly stabbing murder. There was no sign of forced entry at Susan’s apartment. She had been raped and stabbed with a knife numerous times. Police believed she had been lying there dead for several days, and was likely killed on August 14. Police collected the DNA from the perp, but couldn’t do much with it at the time.
Four months later, the warm Toronto summer had transformed into the chilly December weather with which all Canadians are familiar. 22-year-old Erin Gilmour was due at a Christmas party.
Erin Gilmour was trying to break into the fashion industry in Toronto. She aspired to be a fashion designer. Erin had studied fashion at Ryerson University. She had her own apartment in Toronto’s glamourous Yorkville neighbourhood and worked at a high-end clothing boutique, Robin’s Knits. She had recently moved into the apartment above the shop, 37B Hazelton Avenue.
37B Hazelton Avenue. Erin’s apartment is above the storefront. The entrance to her apartment is on the side of the building.
Erin’s father is billionaire David Gilmour. The most famous of his businesses is Fiji Water which he founded in 1996. His other businesses include Barrick Gold and Zinio.
On December 20, 1983, Erin was going to attend a Christmas party with her boyfriend Anthony Munk. Anthony is the son of Peter Munk, billionaire and business partner to David Gilmour.
Erin finished work at Robin’s Knits at 8:45pm and closed up shop. She went upstairs to her apartment.
At 9:20pm, only 35 minutes later, Anthony showed up to Erin’s apartment above the shop, looking for her. He was supposed to be there at 9pm however he had been running late. The street-level door to her apartment was ajar, however there was no sign of forced entry. Anthony walked up the stairs to find Erin, calling her name as he walked up the stairs. He heard nothing. The lights were still on in her apartment. Anthony went back down to the shop to see if he could find her but all the lights in the shop were off and she wasn’t there. He went back into Erin’s apartment and into her bedroom. The duvet on the bed had been drawn up over the pillows. He pulled back the duvet and found Erin; she was dying.
Erin had been tied to her bed, raped and stabbed several times with a knife including a fatal wound to the heart. All this had happened only minutes before Anthony had arrived. By the time Anthony called the police, Erin was dead.
1. Susan Tice’s Home; 2. Erin Gilmour’s Home
The two murders had occurred only a ten-minute drive apart from each other. Both women were sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple times. However, the victim profiles were very different and police did not definitively connect the two murders at the time.
Police received a tip that indicated that both Erin and Susan frequented bars and restaurants in the Yorkville area, where they may have met their killer. Police determined that since both were murdered in their own homes, the killer figured out where they both lived and started to follow them or knew the women personally. There was no sign of forced entry at either crime scene, which could indicate a familiarity to the killer. Police have also noted that in Erin’s case she may have opened her door without thinking because she was expecting Anthony at around the time she was killed.
Erin had been receiving obscene and threatening phone calls in the days leading up to her murder. One source (book on Canadian cold cases) states that police tracked down the individual who was making the calls and did not believe he was connected to the murder, another source (newspaper article) states that the police were not able to trace them.
Police profilers believe the killer was aged 18 to 35 at the time of the murders. I believe that the killer would be white, since most serial killers kill within their race. Since the women were killed police have considered upwards of 5000 people in connection to the murders.
While police could not definitively connect the two crimes at the time, a break in the case came in 2000 when DNA technology proved that the two women had been murdered by the same perpetrator. Despite the new DNA technology, the DNA of the perpetrator did not match anyone in Canada’s DNA database.
Police have not released the names of any suspects and have asked the public for their assistance in solving the case. The case of Erin’s murder has remained high-profile because of her background and her family. Erin’s family is offering a $200,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderer. Police only need a name.
Many serial murderers’ victims are quite like each other; however, Erin and Susan are quite different. Erin was 22, youthful and with long blond hair. Susan was 45 and had dark short hair.
The similarities between the two are that they lived only a ten minutes’ drive apart, and that they both lived alone. I also noticed another similarity; both were known to be very kind-hearted. Susan, as mentioned earlier, worked with disadvantaged children, and a quote from Erin’s stepmother described her as thus: Erin had a “propensity to care for people less well-off than she”. Erin’s family have told stories of her kindness and warm heart, and her father built a school for the blind in the Bahamas in Erin’s memory because she had once become upset over how the blind were treated in the Bahamas community.
The most useful line of inquiry in this case is figuring out if the women knew their killer and in what capacity. I think the killer was a man that both women had assisted in some way. I believe he grew obsessed with each woman. Perhaps the killer confused their kindness with sexual interest, a situation many women will be familiar with. I do believe the women were stalked, especially because Erin was killed right after closing up the shop. It was a very tight timeframe, between 8:45 to 9:20pm, so I believe the killer would have had to be watching her and attacked as soon as Erin went upstairs to her apartment, alone. In Susan’s case, she had recently returned from a visit out of town. She was last seen on August 14, 1983 and was found dead on August 17, having been dead for a few days. It’s very likely Susan was killed the same night she returned from her trip, indicating the killer may have known her movements. A neighbour stated she heard screaming on the night of August 14, but thought she was dreaming, so never thought further about it. The killer must have known that the women lived alone.
A stabbing death is very personal. Especially a stab wound to the heart. Also, Erin’s killer covered her face with the duvet afterwards, which indicates guilt. If a killer covers their victim it may indicate an emotional attachment to their victim and guilt and sorrow for their actions. Not typical for a killer who hates his victims or an emotionally-detached psychopath. This is further reason that I believe the killer knew both women and may have been helped by them in some way. I just can’t get past the feeling that the main similarity between the two women was their kindness.
I believe the murders were carefully planned. This is because the killer seemed to know when the women were home and that they were alone. Additionally, the killer took the knife with him from the crime scene and the murder weapon was never found. I would like to know if the killer brought the murder weapon and binding materials with him to the crime scene or if these materials were from the victims’ homes. I would guess that he brought everything with him, but this is not specified in any coverage I have read. Additionally, it would seem that the killer left no fingerprints at the scene, indicating that he was quite careful. If he left fingerprints at both crime scenes, they would have been connected much sooner. Sure, he left his DNA (semen), but he didn’t know back then that the police would be able to use that to catch him.
I think by now the perpetrator of these crimes is dead and took his secret to the grave. The reason I think he is dead is because his DNA is not in the national database which has samples dating back the past 20 years or so. I believe if he was alive, he would have killed again. His two known crimes are in a four-month span, and most killers only escalate. I believe the killer felt guilt over his crimes hence the covering of Erin’s face. It is due to this fact, and the nature of the crimes, that I do not believe he told anyone he committed these crimes. He may have even committed suicide if he truly had any sort of conscience.
Above: Erin Gilmour. Below: Erin Gilmour’s apartment (police photos)
Below is a post from an unsolvedcanada.ca forum, of someone who says they knew Erin. I know anyone could have written it so I didn’t include it in my main post, but some of you may find it interesting.
By SheDB on May 17, 2012, 09:08:01 PM
“I did leave a tip for the homicide department, although my memory is so blurry on it after 30 years I don’t believe I could have helped.
I knew Erin Gilmour.
Not well but she travelled in the same circle as I did.
But I was better friends with some of her cousins.
We looked very different on the outside but we did share a similar look otherwise, in that we were both blond, blue eyed, very waspish looking and appeared to come from some money.
A year or two before she died, I worked in a restaurant in Yorkville that she came into once in a while but her coworkers and other friends spent a lot of time in.
A guy, about my age bearing in mind I was roughly the same age as Erin then, although perhaps a year older started to come into my restaurant and became very intense in wanting to get to know me.
For the life of me, unfortunately I cannot remember his name but remember he had dark hair and claimed to be a budding fashion photographer.
Whether he was or not I don’t really know but his is how i remember him and what he told me of himself.
He was a bit creepy but i was extremely outgoing, popular and sociable, plus i was busy so I didn’t spend a great deal of time talking to him but it had been my misfortune to always have the misfits become attracted to me. For some reason they always felt that I understood them.
I came home one night with my room mate after seeing a band play, and I did not drink but she did and she was a bit smashed. We turned on our answering service to see if there were any messages ad we both became very quiet as the first one began….
It was this same fellow.
I don’t know he he got my number but the phone call began with a monotone voice and the exact words, ” I have been fantasizing about shooting you”
After that opener, to be honest, I cannot remember anything more other than it went on or about 30-45 minutes, or at least it seemed to go on for that long.
We were both pretty creeped out but at 19-21 years old we were cocky and invincible and not overly concerned, but just immediately felt he was a loser.
I had some punk rocker musician friends that could be a bit intimidating and one of them, unfortunately no longer alive, got a couple of his friends together and went to seek him out at a club around the corner from me on Isabella that a lot of our peer group spent time at.
Realizing that we just figured he was a loser and never once really took it seriously, I didn’t spend a great deal of time thinking about it but I did believe he was using a double entendre when claiming that he wanted to shoot me. He did mean with a gun but if pushed, could claim he meant a camera…
I was told the next day by my friend Jeff that he and his friends found him at the club and beat him somewhat and threatened him that it would be far worse if he ever came near me again, called me again, or even came anywhere within 50 yards of me.
I don’t believe i ever saw him again and believe he took their threats seriously.
A year or two later, I had a few friends that worked with Erin at the Yorkville store that she worked in and one of them told me he had now focused his attention onto Erin.
I was told that he had started hanging around the store a bit and one day came in with a fake gun and pretended to rob the store. I don’t know the details or not, whether they called the police or took it all the seriously but just remember thinking hat this guy had some seriously problems but again, we were innocent enough not to really understand how dangerous he may have been, and sort of laughed it off.
I don’t know if he was making the same threatening calls to her as he began to do with me and if so whether she ever reported them or like myself never took them too seriously, but then, not too long after, I heard one day the she had been found killed the night before and I was in shock.
I phoned one of the girls she worked with and quickly asked her if the police had looked into this particular fellow but she sort of blew it off as if it weren’t a possibility and that was the last time I mentioned it, although i never ever saw him again.
Over the next few days, I heard from her family/cousins, that they believed it was a murder, payback, for something her father had done in the Bahamas. I understand he was not the most respected businessman and they felt someone angry at him, had taken it out on her.
Hence, I put the fellow right out of my mind and forgo about it completely.
I have since moved on from all of those people, of about 25 years ago and haven’t remained up to date on the investigation but 2 or so years ago I read an article that tied Erin’s death into another female killed in Toronto, a Susan Tice and I realized then that they had all been wrong about it possibly being payback for her father and I should never have allowed her co-worker to assume I was wrong when I called the day after she had been killed
To this day, I don’t know if the police ever knew of him, or checked him out. I did send an email to a tip line at that time, 2 years ago when I first heard about Susan Tice but in it I did explain that I have no recollection of his name and the only person that might have remembered, had died abut 12 years ago. I didn’t believe I could be of any help but IF they had ever interviewed this same fellow I was speaking of, I could tell them at least about the phone call I had received but little else.
I have since read that she was getting phone calls before she died and I can’t help but feel strongly that is is or was the same fellow and likely the same type of phone calls!
Its quite frustrating feeling this strongly, but not being able to remember his name leaves it at a dead end but I would sure hate to think it was he and I should have helped, 30 years ago but allowed her co-employee to brush it off when I first mentioned it.
That said, IF it was the same person and he did kill her as well as Susan Tice, since they do have DNA matches, one must wonder why that person has not killed again since?
He can’t be in jail for another murder for they would know and have his DNA one would expect, if in jail that long. For if he did commit a murder and was convicted since, no doubt DNA would be present and they then would have tied him into the others.
Unless he died?
Or perhaps is living elsewhere in the world and has killed elsewhere………one can’t help but wonder.
But I sure wish I could remember his name. I can picture the same stool he would sit on when he came into bother me but I can only vaguely recall what he looked like.
I wish they would find out who killed these two woman for I will never stop wondering if it had been him all this time!!!! :-(“