Detectives with the Toronto Police Service say they are close to identifying the killer responsible for two cold cases from 100. They have been mining family tree records, coupled with DNA matches – commonly known as genetic genealogy – to try to solve the killings of – year-old Erin Gilmour and 52 – year-old Susan Tice.
Det. Sgt. Stephen Smith from Toronto Police Service’s cold case unit expresses frustration at the fact that in Canada, DNA is not automatically collected upon arrest. 0: 52 1615835815
Genetic genealogy is not without controversy. US, where it has been used many ti mes to solve cold cases, the issue of privacy has been raised for individuals who do not upload their DNA to the database but whose identities are revealed by virtue of relatives adding their common DNA.
“Let’s be honest, DNA, there’s really nothing that’s more invasive about person a person,” said Det. Const. Andrew Doyle, who is part of Toronto’s cold case unit.
“It’s your gender, it’s your sex, it’s your ancestry, it’s everything all in one… so that needs to be taken seriously, but I think we could … strike a better balance than the balance that we have right now, which is definitely not in the favor of the investigator. “
Daughter of Barrick Gold co-founder
Gilmour was the only child of David Gilmour, co-founder of Barrick Gold, a mining company that produces gold and copper.
She had two brothers, Sean and Kaelin McCowan, from her mother’s second marriage. The two boys slept over at their sister’s apartment the night before she was killed.
“She… would do that frequently, we would sort of go over there and spend the night and just hang out with her and then we’d all climb into bed together and watch movies and eat popcorn, “said Sean McCowan, who was years old when his sister was killed.
“It was five days before Christmas, and so all we all woke up the next morning. Erin drove my brother Kaelin back… to my mom’s house. And I … went out actually to do some Christmas shopping. And we said our goodbyes and that was the last time I saw her. “
Gilmour worked as a store manager at Robin’s Knits, a high-end boutique in the affluent Yorkville neighborhood of Toronto.
Last seen by co-worker
The last known person to have seen her alive was a co-worker who left Robin’s Knits before 6 pm
She told The Fifth Estate
that she remembers giving the key to Gilmour to lock up the store at 9 pm
Gilmour’s boyfriend, Anthony Munk, the son of her father’s business partner, Peter Munk, was supposed to arrive at the same time to pick her up for a date.
However, he was delayed by 18 minutes when he stopped to withdraw money at a bank. He found Gilmour stabbed to death in her bed.
A suspicion that Gilmour knew her killer was fuelled when it came to light that the person had covered Gilmour with her comforter.
“The significance of the blanket, or comforter, being pulled up over the victim can be looked at in a couple of different… ways, “said Smith. “Sometimes it’s believed that the offender knew or was related to or had a relationship with the victim, and they’ll cover the victim… kind of to reduce their guilt.”
Four months prior to Gilmour’s death, Tice was killed in a similar way. She was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her bedroom.
Tice lived on her own, having moved to Toronto the month before from Calgary after separating from her husband.
She was last seen alive after visiting her mother in Owen Sound.
“My mom was supposed to have dinner with my aunt and uncle and when she did not show up, he went to the house to find out where she was,” said her daughter, Christian Tice , who was at the time.
After seeing the mail piled up in her mailbox, her uncle entered the house from the back door that was left open.
Christian Tice, who was away at a camp in Calgary, happened to call her mother at the exact moment her uncle discovered her mother’s body.
“My uncle was in the bedroom, “said Christian Tice. “And he answered the phone and he turned around and he saw her body… and that’s when he hung up and called police right away.”
Tice’s next-door neighbor later told police that around 1: am, she heard four female screams, a male voice and a door open, but she did not call police. She also heard someone walking between their houses approximately later.
Tice had been hit on the head with a liquor bottle during the assault and had a defensive wound on her left palm.
Until now, the Tice family had never spoken publicly.