Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Parkdale Bludgeoner - Four Attacks on mentally challenged residents culminate in the homicide of George Wass

There has been no shortage of Canadian murders in the news these past few weeks, but my personal interest has focused on a series of attacks in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto which on Friday March 18 resulted in the death of 62-year-old George Wass.  The reason I have decided to make the UNSUB (unknown subject) of the Parkdale Bludgeoner the first profile I post on this blog is because there has been a series of attacks since January, allowing me to analyze a pattern.  Let's look first at the timeline.  Text in red indicates updates I have added since forming the original profile.

Sunday January 4, 2011 - 47/f on Leopold Street punched and kicked by an unknown assailant hospitalized.
Friday January 9, 2011 - 47/m is similarly assaulted. 
Saturday February 25, 2011 - Another middle-aged man attacked in Queen and Lansdowne area.
Thursday March 3, 2011 - Another middle-aged man attacked in Queen and Lansdwone area.
Friday March 18, 2011 - 62/m George Wass attacked while smoking a cigarette on the porch of his rooming house at Queen and Jameson (mis-spelled as Jamieson in several articles I read, but can't seem to find a Jamieson street in Toronto) and taken to hospital to be treated.  On Monday Wass was found dead on the second floor of the rooming house as a result of the injuries sustained during the Friday attack.
Tuesday April 5, 2011 - 45/m attacked on Maynard and Leopold.  Hospitalized but survived.

WHO: Victims are described as all mentally challenged adults between the ages of 47-62, four males and one female (initial victim).  The April 5 victim, 45/m, was not mentally handicapped, but the UNSUB may have mistaken him to be so.  This lends further credence to my assertion that he is NOT stalking his victims

WHAT: Victims are attacked seemingly without reason, and battered into a pulp using the offender's fists and feet, resulting in hospitalization, and in the last case of George Wass, homicide.

WHERE: Parkdale: a working-class burrough on the west end of Toronto.  Known for drugs, prostitution and other sordid activities.  I've personally witnessed several streetfights break out randomly in this area at night.  It is also the area where three streetwalking prostitutes were allegedly killed by Peter Dale MacDonald in the 90s and dumped into Lake Ontario.  Cheap urban housing and all the problems that go with it.

WHEN: The attacks seemed to start in the early part of this year and have continued at a rate of about one every three weeks.

HOW: The Parkdale bludgeoner "attacks unprovoked without saying a word" beating his victims with personal weapons (punching and kicking).  He wears a balaclava to disguise his identity and is said to sometimes ride a bicycle.

WHY: We can rule "lust" out as a motive as there has been no evidence of sexual assault, strange fetishes (bondage, torture etc.) or semen found at the scenes.  Likewise none of the victims were robbed, ruling out a simple brutal series of muggings.  Though mentally handicapped people have been targeted on each occasion, a desire to punish a section of society is NOT the primary force driving the UNSUB.  Rather it is a justification.  Instead, the primary motivation is the need to express anger in the form of brutal violence.  He does not necessarily intend to kill his victims - in fact, he probably doesn't think much about it.  His main concern is that he finds an outlet for his rage, which once unleashed, is beyond his control.  Seems simplistic?  Having answered the big five questions, please allow me to expand.

First of all I would like to clarify, that I am working on information provided in media sources, not by police themselves.  Therefore if there are key pieces of evidence that investigators are holding back, this will negatively effect my profile.  As the FBI behavioural analyst John Douglas once said "garbage in, garbage out".  So assuming that I am working with pretty much all the information there is, I will now construct a psychological and character profile of the Parkdale Bludgeoner.  I don't expect this to be of any use to investigators, as I will appear unqualified, however I am creating this as a personal test, as I believe this suspect will be apprehended soon and would like to see if my understanding of the criminal mind is as honed as I believe.


Sex/Gender: The UNSUB is a male, and identifies as such.

Age: The UNSUB is between the ages of 17-35 as evidenced by 1) The highly physical nature of his crimes.  He has the energy, testosterone and confidence in his hand to hand combat skills to attack his victims unarmed and overwhelm them fairly easily.  He also rides a bike, and the only men I see riding bikes over the age of 35 seem to be gentle, liberal types who do it for environmental purposes or to maintain some passive level of physical fitness (not active like hitting the gym).  I do not see this offender as somebody who is "gentle" or "liberal" or who would cares much about anything other than his own self image.  Physical fitness may however factor into this. 2) The unsophisticated nature of the crimes.  The offender simply finds a weak target and batters it to vent his frustrations.  There is no signs of an elaborate fantasy life like we might see in older offenders, and an older criminal this sloppy would probably be in jail for these types of attacks by now.  As of the April 5 attack, I am beginning to think that the offender is leaning more towards 20 than 35, because despite the media coverage and clear indications that the police are onto him, he continues to attack in the same area.  This is evidence that the attacker is not thinking about his modus operandi at the same level we might see an older offender do.

Race/ethnicity: The UNSUB could be of any racial background, though there have been surviving witnesses who may have indicated if he were anything other than Caucasian.  Then again the suspect wore a balaclava, and the attacks may have happened in such poor lighting and/or so unexpectedly that the survivors simply weren't able to notice racial characteristics.  For instance, I was once attacked in a dark wooded area by a group of at least 4 men when I was 18, and was only able to remember the characteristics of one of my assailants, even though I had personally met another before.  For this reason, I believe it is prudent to leave the subject of race open.  Though I wouldn't rule it out on this basis, in this case you are possibly looking at somebody who is not a WASP.  If they are Caucasian, more likely they are of a blue collar immigrant family possibly first or second generation Italian, Greek, Slavic etc.  This is due to the non-verbal communication, Toronto's ethnic diversity and some gut feeling I can't pinpoint (the nagging feeling that this man comes from a very paternalistic family).  I repeat though DO NOT RULE OUT ANYONE ON GROUNDS OF RACE OR CULTURAL BACKGROUND.

Occupation/skills/intelligence/socialization: This offender, though probably not mentally retarded himself, will be of low-average IQ.  He has enough sense to wear a balaclava to conceal his identity, realizing that nobody will confront him about this during the winter, and that he may leave survivors who will identify him.  This is really the only attempt to prevent leaving evidence that he takes.  Otherwise, his crimes all occur in a single location making them easily detectable and ensuring that he spends a minimal amount of time with his victims.  Nor does he change neighbourhoods, increasingly the likelihood of his capture.  There is also little thought or imagination behind these attacks - they are about as basic and brutish as can be.  Therefore, I believe the UNSUB works sporadically in a job that is physically demanding, but probably unskilled, such as construction, roofing, moving furniture, renovations or odd jobs.  This is one of the reasons he rides a bicycle rather than drives a car - he simply can't afford one.  He is aware of his lack of his skills, intellect, and inability to form meaningful bonds with others (notice how he doesn't speak to his victims - a direct contrast to a more socialized street attacker like young Paul Bernardo as 'The Scarborough Rapist'), and secretly hates himself for it.  Therefore he projects this hatred onto those who are, in his thinking, "even more useless" - the mentally handicapped. 

He envies the successful and harbours anger that he himself can not achieve, but rather than hating them, he is too limited and conservative in his thinking for this type of class consciousness.  So instead he prefers to see himself as one of the "useful" people (though subconsciously he believes he isn't and this leads to his overwhelming rage).  He thus places the blame for his own flawed life on perceived "social parasites" like the mentally handicapped who have to live off the state.  His highest level of education will be high school, though it is possible that he did not complete it.  He is extremely juvenile.

Appearance: Accounts describe the UNSUB as around average height and stocky.  I believe because of his immature Nazi-esque way of thinking, he will be clean cut with short hair.  If he does have facial hair it will be notably groomed or stylized such as a well maintained goatee.  Though not socially adept, he will have some ability to blend into society, and will probably come across as opinonated, brusque and judgmental when he decides to speak.

Residence: The offender either lives and/or works or has ties to Queen and Lansdowne area.  Unlike the police, I don't believe he "stalked" his victims (the fact that the April 5 victim was not mentally handicapped seems to confirm this), instead I think he spent so much time in the area that he became aware of the significant population of mentally challenged, and probably began harbouring a general dislike of them as a group.  When he rode out on his bike to attack them, he wasn't thinking of anyone in particular, but to use his way of thinking, was definitely looking to "kick the shit out of some retard".  His lifestyle will probably not be much different to the naked eye than that of his victims.  He will have a small apartment or basement apartment and very few material items of worth.

Relationships/family: This man is able to form relationships with women, though they will be turbulent due to his projecting of his poor self image onto others.  I would expect any women in his life to have been subjects of verbal or physical abuse.  Problems in a relationship or at work may have been what set him off in the first place.  He will have come from a working class home with an abusive, domineering father.  This accounts for his desire to re-enact physical beatings that he experienced in childhood.  His father would have also bombarded him with the importance of being successful and strong, which he isn't, leading to his hatred of those weaker than him.

Criminal/Psychiatric History: I would look for a history of domestic violence or other types of assault in this man's past, along with possible paranoid tendencies and mild mental illness.  These may not have been so severe that he was ever institutionalized or diagnosed. 

As I conclude this profile, there is one thing bothering me: wouldn't this kind of man also attack homeless people?  I am going to dwell on this for awhile, and revise the profile if I figure out the solution.



  1. This is a test Lee.


  2. Thanks Lostlinganer. Everything seems to be working fine now.