UNCOVERAGE: AN UPDATE ON CAMPUS CRIME

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By Gloria Bacci

Alexander Christoff, age 27
March 11, 2005

The man accused of killing former Ryerson student Alexander Christoff is awaiting his preliminary inquiry, which will take place in the very near future, said Det. Sgt. Mark Saunders. Kelly Lee Spackman, 31, was arrested last July and charged with second-degree murder.

The preliminary inquiry will determine if there is enough evidence to support the charges and proceed to trial, said Saunders, the case’s lead investigator. Christoff’s body was found on March 11, 2005, in a residential area in Etobicoke, near The Queensway and Royal York Road.

He died of multiple stab wounds, Saunders said. Christoff, a Diploma in Arts student, studied at Ryerson until May, 2004. He planned on returning to the university in fall of 2005 to complete his program. “Alexander Christoff was well liked and had a very large group of friends in all walks of life,” Saunders said. “Obviously his death had a huge impact.” People were eager to co-operate with police over the course of the investigation, Saunders said.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of co-operation with the community. People were very forward in helping us.” Saunders would not say whether Spackman’s arrest was based on a tip, nor would he comment on media reports that the murder was drug related. Saunders also declined to comment on whether Christoff and his killer knew each other. He said revealing such information would be unfair to the trial.

The man accused of killing former Ryerson student Alexander Christoff is awaiting his preliminary inquiry. Police say it should take place in the near future. The accused was arrested this summer.

Will Kim, age 30
March 25, 2005

After following up on numerous leads, police have not found the three men involved in the murder of William Kim, 30. Kim, who studied architecture at Ryerson, was shot in the chest after three men entered his Gerrard Street apartment at 10 p.m. on March 25, 2005. Det. Winston Bennett, one of the lead investigators, believes at least one of the suspects was known to Kim.

The suspects were captured on the surveillance cameras of nearby businesses, but the quality of the images was too poor to make any identifications. “It seemed promising at first, but we weren’t able to get the clean, concise images we need for recognition,” Bennett said. “People see CSI and think you can do miracles with images, but that’s not always the case.” The murder weapon was recovered on Gerrard Street, just east of Yonge Street, he said.

He would not reveal the type of gun, but he did say that it was among the 32 to 35 firearms that had been stolen from a legitimate gun collector’s Scarborough apartment, near Midland Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East. Kim was targeted because he was a known drug dealer, Bennett said. “I believe (the suspects) were there to rob him,” he said. “They felt there was money in (the apartment) and possibly drugs.”

Although there are no new leads, Bennett said he is not ready to turn Kim’s murder into a cold case. “We make time to go over each case because we owe it to the family and the victim,” Bennett said. Before unsolved crimes become cold cases, they are reviewed by the investigators assigned to the case and a group of senior officers.

Bennett describes this process as a set of checks and balances, to make sure no aspect of the case has been overlooked. Such a review will be scheduled in the near future for Kim’s murder case, Bennett said. Despite several leads, the three men involved in William Kim’s death have not been found.

Jerry Bugyei-Twun, age 23
March 11, 2003

Police have been unable to locate the gunman who killed Jerry Bugyei-Twun, 23, and wounded Andre Francis, 19, on March 11, 2003. Francis refused to speak with police and did not co-operate with their investigation, said lead investigator Det. Sgt. Terry Wark.

The shooting occurred at about 8:45 p.m. on Victoria Street, just north of Dundas Street East, across from Tim Hortons. Witnesses saw an unconfirmed number of men, including Bugyei-Twun and Francis, standing outside the driver-side door of a dark, mid-sized car with tinted windows, Wark said.

An argument reportedly broke out between the driver of the parked car and the men outside. The driver pulled out a firearm and shot Bugyei-Twun in the torso and chest. Francis was also shot twice, but he walked a couple of blocks to St. Michael’s Hospital, where his wounds were treated.

When questioned by police, Francis denied being near the parked vehicle. Bullet fragments and casings were submitted to the Centre of Forensic Sciences, but they have not been matched to a gun. Wark would not reveal the type of gun that was used. Police have some theories about the motive of the double-shooting, but Wark declined to share them.

Although there are no new leads, Wark said the case will remain active. “We’re always hoping that someone does come forward through their own will or based on a tip,” he said. Police have not located the gunman who killed Jerry Bugyei-Twun and wounded Andre Francis.

Bugyei-Twun was killed across from the Tim Hortons on Victoria Street in 2003. There are no new leads in the case.

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