Notorious Toronto Murders – Toronto’s Jonbenet – Lizzie Tomlinson


Lizzie Tomlinson wasn’t a child beauty pageant queen like little Jonbenet Ramsey. She was however a 6-year-old murder victim, brutally raped, strangled and bludgeoned to death with a rock. Lizzie’s ordeal began in Toronto in 1980,  in the East Toronto downtown region. She lived in a cul-de-sac with her siblings and her parents. It was a nice area: friendly, cozy, nice kids, friendly neighbours. You get the idea: a Mr. Rogers type of set-up. Anyway.

The morning of May 24 would prove to be anything but Mr. Rogers neighbourhood. It was summertime and naturally children weren’t in school. If only they had been little Lizzie might be alive today. If only the killer hadn’t entered her cul-de-sac, the same would be true. There are always so many “if only’s” in this tragic type of tomsuspectscenario. Lizzie was playing with friends in a parkette known by neighbourhood kids as “Stinky’s Park” on the southeast corner of Shuter and Sumach Sts. At approximately 3:30 p.m., a man later described by numerous witnesses as between 25-35 years old, about 5 ft 7, 160-180 lbs, tanned, blue-eyed, with long dark brown hair, a beard, possibly left-handed, and wearing a tan tank top, blue jeans, and brown running shoes, lured her away from the park. An intensive search was immediately launched. It wasn’t until Monday morning that Lizzie’s defiled body was found in a forlorn industrial area, in some bushes near railway tracks at Bayview Ave. (West Don Roadway) and Front St.

The rape was especially gruesome: the killer impaled Lizzie by shoving the stalk of a weed (more likely a stick) up into her vagina and through her stomach and upper body until it came to rest near her right shoulder. She lived for at least an hour, and possibly for a few hours, after the insertion of the stalk, but was likely unconscious. That’s one thing to be grateful for. Since she had been partially buried, police believed the killer had spent quite a bit of time at the scene. The pathologist examining her, recorded injuries that included multiple scratches and cuts, a broken jaw, a fist-inflicted injury on her neck, and other bruises on her face and thighs. Some kids said they had been approached by a man fitting the suspect’s description, and offering ice cream, in the month prior to the abduction. It’s possible that their descriptions were wrong or partly wrong. Children often make significant errors in identifying strangers. Hapless bearded men were randomly corralled left and right in the days and weeks after the murder, and the general public was whipped into a fury over reinstating capital punishment.

One person went so far as to email an article about Lizzie’s murder to a forensic psychic, a person who supposedly uses Horary and Birth charts to determine how Lizzie 3-30 pma rape-murder took place. You are familiar with Horary stuff. You’ve read horrorscopes, oops, I mean horoscopes. Horoscopic astrology uses a visual representation of the heavens, for a specific moment in time, to interpret the meaning underlying the alignment of the planets at that moment. Yep. Hocus-pocus. This psychic did her “reading” after she received the email and had done her research on the Tomlinson case. She claimed that Lizzie, ruled by Venus, was outside near a wooded area and that Stinky’s Park was equipped for outdoor activities. Who would have known? She claimed the Sun indicated there was a man on the perimeter of the park but he was not “with” any of the other children and that his purpose for being there centered around the children. He was attracted to the kids. Truly, I don’t know why police don’t consult with psychics more often to solve their cases. Such brilliance.

He tried his seduction on other kids first and got lucky with her. He was offering a lie, an illusion, a promise of candy or other forbidden treats, something her crime-little-girl-1parents would not let her have but she wanted dearly. This was already known by children he had approached before Lizzie. Finally, the seer claimed “the man she met and left with was who muscular an in fine physical shape. Health conscious and discriminating, neat, clean and well-trimmed. He was of medium height, dark to reddish-brown hair and thin lips. Also, someone with a broad, high forehead, high cheekbones and large nostrils. Again, this brilliant reading was provided for her in the email and by the police sketch of the perpetrator. We don’t know about the physical appearance et al but a person could make up anything about a killer 30 years after the fact. The psychic business in this case is utter rot. Just thought I’d include it for interest’s sake.

Another member of the public, Kathy, in 2010, contacted York Regional Police to discover whether Lizzie Tomlinson’s case would be re-opened. She was herself angry mothermolested as a little girl by her father, Dave Norris. In this video Kathy interviews with Det. Sgt. Steve Ryan and Detective Clark in Homicide, in regard to her father, David Norris, whom Kathy believes should have been investigated in the deaths of Lizzie Tomlinson, Diane Singh, and Yvonne Leroux. Her reasoning?

  1. Lizzie was abducted within a block from Kathy’s home.
  2. Her father looked like the police composite.
  3. He committed suicide after being charged for molesting a Kindergarten child.
  4. He attempted to kill Kathy.
  5. She believed her mother wanted her dead.
  6. Her mother went missing.

Frankly, I find this woman’s perspective on the Lizzie Tomlinson case, as well as her accusation that the YRP were negligent in its investigation of her murder, quite extreme. I believe her father molested her. I believe her mother was verbally abusive and didn’t protect her. I don’t believe that her father was a rapist-murderer because he was a pedophile. Despicable, yes. Proven murderer, no. However, if this woman’s experiences and memories (which she admits aren’t entirely reliable), are accurate (and we don’t know this to be true), then perhaps it is worth taking a closer look at Dave Norris.

On June 5th, 1980, Lizzie’s 26-year-old cousin Gregory Guerin was arrested and greenspan_smcharged with her murder. The bizarre factor in this case was that Guerin was severely mentally handicapped. He functioned at the level of a 7-year-old. He was frequently played with Lizzie and the neighbourhood children. If the psychic is to be believed, then Guerin cannot possibly be the killer since he was involved with children and not attracted to them. In his autobiography, The Case for the DefenseEdward Greenspan, a prominent criminal defense attorney, defended Guerin. Greenspan emphasized several facts in the case, some of which included:

  1. the handicapped man’s unlikely ability to plot a murder by luring his cousin away from Stinky’s Park, (something he wouldn’t have to do, since Lizzie trusted him)
  2. escape without being seen
  3. avoid police suspicion
  4. be easily identified by neighbourhood children as the man who led her away from the park.

Greenspan’s defense was successful. Guerin was cleared and discharged in late December at his preliminary hearing.

No one else was ever arrested for the murder of Lizzie Tomlinson.

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12 Responses to Notorious Toronto Murders – Toronto’s Jonbenet – Lizzie Tomlinson

  1. Quinn says:

    I am Lizzie Tomlinsons niece i am very interested in this case and want it reopened! If you have any other information please leave a comment below and i will look into it. I want this man arrested ! You can NOT just do that to a six year old girl or any girl and get away with it, its not fair!

    • gothrules says:

      Thank you for writing. I support you fully in wanting the case re-opened. I only found information on little Lizzie by googling her. I don’t have any other knowledge of her. If I can be of any help in terms of blogging let me know.

      • Quinn says:

        I am only 13 and in two days I have gotten a detective to re look over the case he will be telling me some information on it that is in the case and i will be testifying to get this case re-opened my Aunt Lizzie will not go without consent or the inprisonment of her killer! If you have anyone information please comment below and thank you

    • Deanna Mizuguchi says:

      Hi Quinn. Need to speak with you. As a little girl I’m sure I played with Lizzy. My family lived two doors down from Lizzy on Sumach st across from the CBC building. I don’t want to say to much on here but I believe I have some information that might help. Not even sure if it’s correct but I need to let somebody know what I believe I know. I believe I know the suspect and can explain later to you. Please get in contact with me, what I know might help.

  2. Quinn says:

    Gregory Guilin is my great uncle i have never met him nor heard of him till this year! My grandmother does not take about Lizzie or anything of that year at all but i have read multiple comments stating that Gregory was with my grandmother the day and time of the abdouction

  3. Paul Ryckman says:

    I played with Lizzie,as stinkys park was right across the street from my house.I have looked this up a few times and dumbfounded tha.
    t there has never been a person convicted of her murder.R.I.P. Lizzie my friend

    • Chantelle says:

      Good Day Paul – There is a Justice for Lizzie on Facebook, I am looking for people to join and say the good things they remember about Lizzie. I believe her killer is still out there and alive and maybe by people posting on facebook that is used by so many people something might just pop up

    • Chantelle says:

      Hi Paul, I tried to find you on fb but there are a few Paul Ryckman’s.

  4. gepplay says:

    I am Lizzy’s cousin. Somehow this needs to be reopened and resolved. Something has been overlooked,

  5. atafuro says:

    I just came across this story and am sickened by someone that would do this to an innocent child. I like to watch psychic investigators on the own channel, there is one person who has incredible abilities at solving these sort of murders his name is Phil Jordan he lives in New York and is presently a minister in a church there. I believe he still does readings of this sort. You should look him up, this sort of injustice needs to be solved!!!!!

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