In the early morning of Monday, June 21st, 1982, Welsh nanny Christine Prince disappeared from a mid-Toronto neighbourhood. Her body was found the following day floating in the Rouge River in a remote region just north of the Toronto Zoo, 48 kilometres from her last verified location. On Sunday evening, Christine had gone out to a show and subsequent coffee-shop snack with her friend, fellow nanny, and fellow Welshwoman, Gloria Betts. At 1:30 a.m., Gloria last saw Christine at Bathurst St. and St. Clair Ave. W. Gloria got off the westbound St. Clair Ave. streetcar and proceeded northbound on Bathurst St. to the home of her employer on Claxton Ave., while Christine stayed aboard the streetcar for the 4-block ride to Pinewood Ave., where she lived with her employers, lawyer Emile Kruzick, his wife Josie, and their toddler.
Christine was known to be very cautious about her safety, usually taking a taxicab at night and not wanting to walk even a few blocks home by herself. Evidence indicates Christine made it to Pinewood Ave., and had walked about halfway up the long block to her home when she was accosted by her killer. A woman walking on Pinewood Ave. near Humewood Park the next morning, found the umbrella Christine had been carrying, lying on the sidewalk. The woman hung it on the doorknob of a shop at St. Clair Ave. and Christie St., but later came forward after hearing about the murder and the victim’s umbrella. Sometime Monday, Christine’s wallet was found along the 401 freeway near Meadowvale Rd., tossed from a moving vehicle.
On Tuesday, several people walking to work along Sewells Rd., about 800 metres north of Finch Ave. E. where Sewells meets the Rouge River, spotted a body lying face down in three feet of water and called police. The body was later identified as Christine Prince by her employer, Mr. Kruzick. Scouring the isolated area, police found the murder scene about 200 metres upstream from where the body was found, off a small track in the bush that was known as Lovers’ Lane. Christine had been raped and brutally beaten, but she died of drowning, either at the hands of her assailant or as a consequence of her incapacitating injuries. Police found a set of tire tracks that were later traced to a four-wheel drive Toyota model, but they were unable to conclude that the vehicle was involved.
Police tentatively linked the Prince case to the attempted rape of a woman on Humewood Ave. on May 30th. The woman was walking south on Humewood at 7:30 a.m., on her way to work at a downtown hospital, when she was attacked, but she managed to bite the assailant’s hand and run into the middle of the street where she alerted a passing motorist. The suspect in that attack was vaguely described as a slim black man about 6 ft. tall.
In 1985, the police department commissioned the FBI to do a suspect profile of the Prince killer. FBI profilers surmised Prince was kidnapped by two men, since the act was swift and met with little resistance. They think she was bound by the wrists and taken to a place familiar to the perpetrators. One of the men is likely the leader, and he committed the rape and murder while the other stood by. Among the named suspects police probed much later when a flurry of them surfaced in the early ‘90s were William Brett Henson, who killed CFL cheerleader Jenny Isford in May, 1982 and wasn’t identified and arrested until 1995 (Isford was raped and killed after getting off a bus late at night, so with the similar modus operandi the cases were informally linked early on), infamous serial rapist and killer Paul Bernardo, and homicidal drifter Danny Wood. Christine’s murder remains unsolved.