TIL: One Canadian Town Had Six Serial Killers Operating At The Same Time

The town of London, Ontario once held the distinction of the most serial killers in one area. Sixteen of the twenty-nine murder cases were never solved.

The small town of London is located a couple of miles west of Toronto. This town has given us the likes of Justin Bieber, Ryan Gosling, and Rachel McAdams. Over the course of 25 years, the town was rocked by 29 murders.

Thirteen of these murder cases were attributed to three killers: Gerald Thomas Arthur (a.k.a The London Chambermaid Killer), Christian McGee (a.k.a. The Mad Slasher), and Russell Johnson (a.k.a. The Balcony Killer).

Dennis Alsop, a detective sergeant who was based in London between 1950 and 1979 kept all of his personal notes and research on the murders hidden until his death in 2012. He left these things to his son who gave the data to the police in London.

His files old documents, teletype transcripts, and other information recorded on now obsolete technologies. At the time, London only had a population of 200,000 people. It had the highest number of serial killers per capita at the time.

Local detective Mike Arntfield took this data and has presented his peer-reviewed conclusions in the bookMurder City: The Untold Story of Canada’s Serial Killer Capital.

The author says this about how helpful Alsop’s work was in writing this book:

“It is extraordinarily important. A lot of the stuff that happened during this period, there is no other living record of it — much of it was thought to have been lost to history. But he took the time to diligently document his thoughts, his hunches, his findings, things that could be acted on but also things that would go no further than him.

“And ultimately contained in that codex, as I call it — the basement book of the dead — are answers to these cases and he knew they couldn’t die with him so he left them behind to be found as a sort of a time capsule. His son then gave them to me knowing my work at the university with respect to unsolved homicides.” 

Hopefully, finding these killers will give at least some closure to the family members of the victims. Hopefully, we will never have this many serial killers in a city at the same time again.

Featured image by Alan Cleaver via flickr, available under Creative Commons 2.0 license.

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