Toronto has seen a record-breaking number of murders this year, but violent crime hasn’t changed much in Hamilton, Halton and Niagara. They saw about the same number of murders in 2018 as in other recent years.
Twenty-nine year-old Holly Hamilton was the first of nine people killed in Hamilton in 2018. Her body was found in mid January. She had been stabbed to death and stuffed into the trunk of her Ford Escort. Hamilton’s 30-year-old ex-boyfriend Justin Dumpfrey- the father of her four year old daughter- faces a second degree murder charge.
The second and third murders in Hamilton this year were 64-year-old Carla and 65-year-old Alan Rutherford. They were murdered in July. Police say the bedroom in their Dundas home was deliberately set on fire while the couple slept.
The fourth murder victim was 34-year-old Michael Campbell. He was one of four people hit by gunfire outside an East Avenue North bar in August. Police later released surveillance footage and said the dispute may have begun earlier and that Campbell may not have been the intended target.
Fifty year-old Albert Lavarone became Hamilton’s fifth murder victim in September. Police found him on his doorstep with a fatal gunshot wound. His killer had been hiding in the bushes, waiting for his return. Police are investigating potential links with the murder of notorious mobster Angelo Musitano under similar circumstances the year before.
Nineteen year-old Nashton Defreitas was the sixth person killed in Hamilton this year. The toronto man had been attending an after-hours party in an industrial building in the east end in September when he was fatally shot.
Then in November, the seventh murder happened. Another shooting. This time on Clifton Downs Road in Hamilton. 31-year-old Marko Bakir was shot several times on his driveway. His body was discovered by a neighbour who did not hear the gunshots. Bakir had recently won a large court settlement with which he bought a house and a Lamborghini.
Later in november, 53-year-old Michel Pilon was found dead in his apartment- newly erected affordable housing units at Melvin Avenue and Parkdale. His neighbour, 55 year old George Opassinis, has been charged with his murder.
The final and ninth murder victim in Hamilton this year was 17-year-old Joshua Leo. He was fatally stabbed in the chest in a park near CF Lime Ridge. An 18-year-old later turned himself into police and was charged with manslaughter.
In 2017 ten people were murdered in Hamilton.
Halton and Niagara regions each had fewer than three murders this year, which is consistent with the violent crime in those regions over the past several years.