Saturday, 10 November 2007

Another killing in Toronto, another Jamaican connection

Killers 'running through the halls'

As family prepares for funeral of slain 23-year-old, police focus search on their Jane-Finch building

Nov 10, 2007 04:30 AM
Robyn Doolittle
Staff Reporter


The decrepit red-brick housing complex feels like a prison.

The building is a giant square, surrounded by wire fencing and has a large asphalt courtyard in the centre. It was in this quad that Christopher O'Neil Johnson was stabbed to death one week ago. One of his friends was seriously wounded.

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Johnson had been living with his grandmother, Elaine Bogle, on the west wing's second floor. Police and Johnson's family suspect the 23-year-old's killer may also live in the Jane-Finch apartment.

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For Johnson's mother, Opal, the idea that her son's killer may be living just down the hall is too much.

"I hadn't left the apartment. I've just been locked up in here trying to get a grip. Then I walked out yesterday because I had to take clothes for him, down to the (funeral home), and I saw the posters the police put up . . . that 'a killer may live in your building.' I freaked out. I screamed. I collapsed," the 42-year-old single mother said. "My son was a very nice boy. He didn't deserve to die like this."

Police are still investigating what happened, but Bogle says the whole thing started over lost keys.

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It's a version of events Det. Sgt. Frank Skubic has also heard, but officers are looking for other explanations. "We are investigating the possibility that the deceased was involved in gang activity," he said. "If this is gang-related the keys may be a euphemism for control of the building."

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Johnson may have had some run-ins with police, but at home he was the kind of man who diligently checked in with his sick grandmother, made sure his younger brothers were staying out of trouble, and was respectful to his mother.

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Just this past June, Bogle, Opal and her four sons – at 23, Johnson was the eldest – took a trip to Jamaica for Bogle's mother's 84th birthday. Johnson told his mother he couldn't believe how beautiful the country was and perhaps he'd go live there one day.


Read the entire article at The Toronto Star.

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