Throwback Thursday: Murder on Parliament St.

Crime Prevention Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Murder on Parliament St.

This week, we have a darker story to tell of the neighbourhood’s past.

You might recall that there was an incident in April 2014 ( where a number of gunshots were fired from one moving vehicle towards another near Ryerson University, a car chase which subsequently ended with a car crashed into a pole outside of the Home Hardware on Parliament St., with one person killed and another injured. Police are still seeking assistance in this investigation.
Picture of Loblaws Store on Parliament St.
In a tragic twist, there was another murder at the same location on July 30, 1949. At around 5:30 PM on that Saturday evening, Alfred Edward Layng, a RCAF Veteran of the Second World War, was walking with his wife and 4 year old daughter outside of the Loblaws store that occupied the building where Home Hardware is today. A man emerged from the Loblaws store after robbing it, and Layng bravely attempted to subdue him but during the scuffle, the robber shot Layng twice with a handgun with a wound to Layng’s heart proving fatal.

The robber ran along Carlton St., and into laneways and garages on Ontario St. and Seaton St. and eventually escaped. A few days later, Robert and Gloria McKay, a couple from Toronto who had been vacationing near Wasaga Beach were found shot to death and the police suspected there was a connection.

In 1950, a woman was found dead in her home in Los Angeles after an attempted burglary and along with a number of other break-ins, LA Police charged a man named Stanley Buckowski with her murder. Buckowski was originally from Saskatchewan but had moved to Toronto as a young boy with his family. He started with break-ins but by age 15 had been sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for an armed robbery.

After fingerprints were shared between the LA Police, FBI, RCMP and Toronto Police – it became known that Buckowski was also wanted in Toronto. However, after being sentenced to death for the murder in LA, he was never extradited to Canada to face charges in Layng’s murder.

Veteran Crime Reporter Gwyn (Jocko) Thomas ( travelled to Los Angeles in 1951 to interview Buckowski, and during that interview Buckowski admitted to killing Layng and the McKays. Buckowski was executed in 1952 by means of a gas chamber.

Layng was buried with full military honours at Prospect Cemetery in Toronto.

Source for some of this post from this book which provides much more detail – recommended reading: Wrong Side of The Law: True Stories Of Crime by Edward Butts

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