WATCH ABOVE: Durham Regional Police are investigating a gruesome murder of an 80-year-old man in Pickering. As Caryn Lieberman reports, the victim was well known and frequently walked around the neighbourhood discussing his Christian faith.
PICKERING — Neighbours used to call Memory Lane in Pickering a perfectly peaceful place to live, but on Tuesday night it became the scene of a gruesome slaying.
Few details have been released, but a well-known, well-loved man who lived a block away on Everton Street was killed.
John Murray, 80, was a religious man who would walk around the neighbourhood and approach strangers and friends to share his religious teachings and hand out pamphlets about Christianity.
Sgt. Bill Calder of Durham Regional Police said Murray was killed and there were “obvious signs of trauma” to Murray’s body.
Police and a forensic unit on scene at the home on Memory Lane in Pickering on Thursday Sept. 3. Caryn Lieberman/Global News
Police and a forensic unit on scene at the home on Memory Lane in Pickering on Thursday Sept. 3.
Caryn Lieberman/Global News
“It was a suspicious death and it took a post-mortem after that to be able to say it was our third homicide of 2015,” Calder said.
A woman who lives across the street from the scene recalls seeing a few incidents at the home where Murray was killed.
Still, she said she was stunned when she returned home with her husband and children late Tuesday and saw police and a forensic unit on scene.
“He knew everybody in the area,” said Nicole Georgiev, who knew Murray well.
“He would just hand out his pamphlets about Jesus.”
Neighbour Sean Kelly echoed that thought, adding that he remembered seeing Murray taking his wife for walks when she was wheelchair-bound before her death.
“Spreading the word of Jesus, keep Jesus by your heart, that’s what he always said,” said Kelly.
Juliette Williams had known Murray for the last 10 years.
“It’s just hard to think that he’s gone like that,” she said, adding that she often received advice from Murray and Christmas cards every year.
“He’s always giving advice, he’s always telling us about God, he’s always talking about his wife Marlene.”
Murray wrote a book about his love for his late wife called “Marlene: A Woman after my Own Heart.”
He signed a copy of it for Morene Fairborn, who lives a few streets away, after her husband died of Cancer in May.
“He was a very sharp man, very kind man,” she said.
“He gave me the book and he actually inscribed [it] … You can see how meticulous he was.”
There have been no arrests so far in the case. Police say the occupant of the home where Murray was discovered has been cooperating, but wouldn’t elaborate further.
The investigation is continuing and officers would like to speak with anyone who has knowledge of Murray’s activities prior to Tuesday night when he was found dead.
Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Moore (ext. 5326) or Det. Dennis (ext. 5402) of Major Crime Homicide Unit at 1-888-579-1520.
Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活durhamregionalcrimestoppers杭州丝足.