Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Audrey Gleave: Deadly Premonitions

Text in red indicates updates I have added since forming the original profile.

WHO: Audrey Gleave, 73-years-old.  Born to Latvian and Lithuanian immigrants in Hamilton, Ontario on February 6, 1937, this brilliant mind began life as Otte Wilma Doveika, changing her name to "Audrey" in her teens.  After graduating from highschool, Audrey worked as a clerk for Bell before enrolling in McMaster University's science program in 1964.  She earned her BA in 1966, continuing to pursue a master's degree in physics.  Beginning in 1967, Audrey spent two summers working at Chalk River's nuclear laboratories.  While attending university, the 27-year-old beauty met Allan Gleave, a younger man studying engineering.  The two hit it off, marrying in 1969, though Audrey remained a highly private woman who divulged little about her past to her new husband.  Allan knew she had been married twice before, but his bride refused to get into the details.  For reasons unknown, Audrey decided to discontinue her master's degree and career in nuclear physics, opting instead to become a teacher.  The couple eventually built an impressive home with 17 foot vaulted ceilings off Indian Trail in rural Lynden, between Brantford and Ancaster.  Audrey settled into her career as a teacher.  Sadly, the Gleaves split in 1974 when Allan fell for a younger woman in his karate class.  He left Audrey the house in the divorce settlement, and moved 400 KM away. 

The thrice divorced Audrey Gleave, described as "witty", "reclusive", "enigmatic" and "highly intelligent" continued to live there alone until her death: 37 years in total.  After retiring, she spent more and more time at home with her beloved German shepherds, occasionally having a friend around to talk or help maintain the home.  She regularly went for coffee on Wednesdays with former teachers from Westdale Secondary School, but for the most part, stayed at home on her computer, drinking in the information age with her trademark unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

Audrey had repeatedly expressed her concern to confidantes that she would be raped and murdered in her own home: a coincidence or premonition? 
WHAT:  Upon entering her garage from the outside (as was their custom), a 22-year-old student employed to do yardwork found Audrey Gleave lying prone beside her prized Camaro.  The 73-year-old was wearing a winter coat, but her pants had been ripped open.  She had been beaten and stabbed an excessive amount of times (overkill).  Though police will not go into specifics, Canadian crime reporter Jon Wells of The Hamilton Spectator has written of a:  "...'sexual component' (it had included a perverse act that went beyond a conventional assault; the killer had taken something from the victim as though making off with a souvenir.)"  I will discuss what I believe happened later in this profile.  For now let's stick to the facts.

WHERE: In the garage of her home on Indian Trail on the outskirts of Lynden, Ontario.  The house is fairly secluded as evidenced in the photograph below:

WHEN: Time of death has not yet been released to the public.  Audrey was last seen on Tuesday December 28, 2010. At 2:30 AM the following morning, a neighbour's dog was heard barking (though this was not uncommon). However she did not arrive for her regular coffee meeting that Wednesday.  Her body was discovered at 11 AM on Thursday.

HOW: Police have revealed little information pertaining to signs of forced entry at the Gleave home, in fact it is unknown whether the killer even entered the house at all.  Rumours have circulated saying that a purse was discovered untouched inside the living room.  Though we can not confidently ascertain how the UNSUB (unknown subject) confronted his victim, we know several key elements of his modus operandi:

- The victim was not bound, and almost certainly not drugged
- The victim was fully clothed save for rips in her pants
- The victim was beaten and subject to an unnecessary number of stab wounds

It is my conjecture that the most likely scenario, given this information, is that the UNSUB ambushed Audrey, beating her sensless, before either 1) Stabbing her to death THEN attempting a sexual attack; or 2) Attempting a sexual attack THEN stabbing her to death.
I am guessing by the police's constant emphasis of the unparalleled brutality of this crime, plus the fact that the victim was found with her pants ripped, that the attack involved some kind of mutilation to the genitals or buttocks (less likely: the extraction of an internal organ).  Anatomical parts may have been completely excised.  Multiple stab wounds, though horrific, are something homicide detectives would be accustomed to.  I doubt the souvenir taking they have referred to was as commonplace as panty theft - these "disorganized" kinds of killers don't typically take trophies, as they aren't in the habit of reliving the murders.  Proceeding with the idea that, at the very least, the majority of stab wounds were focused on the lower portion or genital region of the body, let us now examine "why?"

WHY:   During a sexual murder, anger is frequently coupled with frustrated lust.  I doubt this offender was psychologically capable of having regular consensual sex with or raping a living human.  If there was penetration involved it would have been post-mortem or with a foreign object.  Though both are possible, I am going to say that the killer used the stabbing implement (knife, screwdriver etc.) as an object of sexual substitution for his penis.  Anger at his own sexual inadequacy + the sexual desire to penetrate a woman's genitals = overkill and mutilation.  Good reference cases are Andre Chikatilo in the former Soviet Union and Britain's "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe.  These men targeted different types of victims, but their crimes were similar.  Interestingly, both were married but had non-existent or highly inhibited sex lives with their spouses. 

The Murderer of Audrey Gleave

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

Age:  The average age for a sexual murderer is around 27.  However, due to his lack of organization, the UNSUB's mental age is probably somewhere around his late teens or early twenties.  One explanation is that he actually was that young (say 18-25).  Another is that low intelligence, mental illness, substance addiction or some combination of these factors have left him mentally less developed than his years.  Considering this, I would peg his age at somewhere between 18-30, significantly younger than the former prime suspect in the case, David Laurie Scott.

Race/ethnicity: Though I originally predicted a Caucasian offender, having visited Lynden since first writing this profile, I learned there is a large community of migrant labourers from Jamaica and Latin America who arrive to pick seasonally.  Now that I know this, I have decided to go out on a limb and say that I believe the killer is probably a black Caribbean, or less likely, a Latin worker.  Though the attack occurred in winter, after harvest season, there could be a variety of reasons this person returned to the area.  FBI studies have shown that young African-American males are more likely per capita to sexually attack an elderly white woman.* HOWEVER AS I ALWAYS WARN I would not exclude an otherwise credible suspect because of race alone.  I really must stress this. 
* - Rest assured, I have looked into this personally and can confirm that it's statistically accurate, not a result of racial prejudice.  Here are some names off the top of my head: Carlton Gary, Cleo Green, Thierry Paulin, Kenneth Erskine.

Occupation/skills/intelligence/socialization:  The UNSUB is either unemployed or drastically underemployed.  We can reasonably assume this because the murder seems to have occurred in the wee hours of a Tuesday morning, when most career-oriented Canadians would have been asleep in bed.  Audrey Gleave's was hardly a controlled, well planned homicide; the perpetrator seems to have subdued her almost immediately in a blitz style attack.  Nor did he make an effort to prolong his experience with her.  Putting these pieces of the puzzle together reveals a man of low intelligence (or average with psychosis), impulsivity and an utter absence of imagination.  In short, the UNSUB could not be self employed because he lacks the discipline, tenacity and guile.  Financially dependent on the government or a family member, he will live a nocturnal lifestyle, spending most of his time by himself.  His insecurities, quirks and inadequacies make him incapable of fitting into society.  His friends will be few, if any.  In this way, he is more comparable to the killer I profiled in The Tice-Gilmour murders than that of Cindy Halliday.  The peak of the UNSUB's academic achievement will be graduating high school.  Given his mental disorder, he might not even have accomplished this.

Appearance: Conventional wisdom has it that, when profiling this type of killer, I'm supposed to say "scruffy and unkempt, poor hygiene, clothes stained and crumpled."  Though that is a distinct possibility, I believe it is equally probable that the UNSUB is reasonably well groomed and neat, though somewhat unfashionable in attire.  He isn't dressing to impress - he wants to keep to himself.  This attitude could manifest in the neglect of his personal appearance ("I don't care what people think because I don't want to be around them, so I'll just let my looks get out of control").  Alternatively, he might strive to "fit in", dressing and styling himself so conventionally that he becomes just another face in the crowd.  Looking back at the history of murderers who have committed similar crimes, I have seen examples of both.  With that in mind, the only suspects I would exclude are those who are flashy or stylish in appearance.  To advise anything else would be irresponsible and misrepresent my abilities as an amateur profiler.

Residence: Thankfully, here I can be much more specific.  I can confidently state that the UNSUB will either live within a 10 KM radius of the Gleave residence (probably close to the centre), OR will have had a reason to visit the area on multiple occasions.  The most plausible explanation is to see family.  Visiting friends or work obligations are less likely possibilities.  We must always keep in mind that Audrey Gleave was murderered over the holiday season.

The UNSUB is either: 1) Living with a dominant female figure such as a mother or grandmother, upon which he is emotionally and financially dependent; 2) Alone in poor conditions (a tiny apartment or public housing), or 3) Travelling from place to place, subsisting on the generosity of others. 

Relationships/family: The UNSUB will harbour deep-seated, emotionally crippling anger towards his mother who berated and/or controlled him throughout his existence, laying the foundation of his subsequent hatred and sexual inadequacies.  Her abuse could be psychological, physical and/or sexual in nature.  If his father was present, he would be the weaker of the two parents, exercising little influence on his son's development.  As a result of his formative experiences with his mother, the offender will not be in a romantic relationship unless he is completely dominated and supported by his significant other.  If this is the case, the union will be marked by a lack of sexual activity.  That said, I'd place my money on him being incurably single.

Criminal/psychiatric history: I expect the UNSUB to have a documented history of bizarre psychiatric behaviour extending back to his earliest years.  Whether this is schizophrenic in nature or related to autism or some manner of impulse control disorder can not be determined.  Bedwetting and animal abuse would be symptoms he exhibited as a child.  Unless rape is confirmed by the authorities, I am predicting he also suffers from psychosomatic erectile dysfunction.  As previously mentioned, the UNSUB is a picquerist, who is sexually attracted to knives and the concept of stabbing and cutting.  His psychiatric history will be voluminous when compared to his criminal record, which will be solely confined to petty crimes.  One major crime we might expect to find however is irrational violence towards female strangers.  I disagree with the opinion of a former FBI agent who posited that the offender would have problems with drugs.  If this were the case, there would have been cash and items of material worth taken from Audrey's house.  Maybe he smokes marijuana from time to time, but this guy is no crack addict.

For a more detailed and objective account of the murder please see Jon Wells' "Darkness on Indian Trail":  True crime fans will also love Jon's superb books: Sniper, Post Mortem, Vanished and Poison.


  1. Great read, once again!
    I was mulling over the idea that the perp could be a student that was home for Christmas break...but dreading going back to another semester of lack-luster results. He was being pushed by his mother to go and succeed, as she was/is paying his way. And he was becoming unglued. I also think they lived fairly close by but he went back to school right after the crime against Audrey.
    What freaks me out about Audrey's death, is that this is apparantly how she knew she would die, one day. Wow,why did she know/say that??
    One more thing I am interested in, is who actually bought Audrey's house? I think I recall reading that it was a young couple from the area. I hate to be so suspicious, but I want to know more about that.

  2. Thanks for commenting! In my view, this offender is not disciplined enough to have pursued a post-secondary education. I'd be surprised if he was a high school graduate. However, if I've underestimated him, your scenario certainly is plausible. I'm a bit of a skeptic, so I would say that Audrey "knowing" she would die is statistical. I imagine there are many women who live with the fear that they will be murdered, but we never hear about the ones that aren't because their phobias never come into the spotlight. Given enough time, the laws of probability will produce a murder victim who previously thought she might be killed. What we have to keep in mind is that there are probably many other women who possess similar feelings. If they happen to be murdered, it will seem like a psychic ability, when in reality, it's just coincidence. I'm not sure who bought the home. Do you think there could be a material motive to this crime?

  3. I am not sure if there is a material motive to this crime, but I thought I remembered reading that a young couple from the area bought the house. If it is true, the only connection I could make now is you and the Cops say. And I say it is someone that knew her, or knew she lived alone....and someone close by.
    I am very much interested at this point about the handy man that was immediately cleared, but now the new Cop on the job is taking a harder look at him. I think I will say: With good reason. I just watched an interview with him and his young, beautiful, I might add, wife. I thought his actions were innapropriate since he was being interviewed right after Audrey's Funeral. I posted the links on Unsolved. If my guess on his address is correct, he lives 8.1 km from Audrey's. (canada411). Also, I do not like the fact that Audrey's dogs NEVER warmed up to handiman.

  4. PS: Let us know what you think of the Video and Handiman's mannerisms.

  5. Material motive? Possibly yes, or disappointment to learn that they were not included in the will as the perp had imagined, and possibly even alluded to by Audrey.
    This would cause outrage, and a feeling of being used and abused. Perhaps the kille knew of her "death fear" as she may have confided this to him, and he recalled that while in his rage, and completed the sexual componant.
    I think this was a well educated person who knew Audrey, and she trusted him

  6. Sounds like you're leaning towards the university student who did yardwork for her. Am I correct?

  7. Not necessarily towards the young man who did the yard work. It would be too obvious, and why would he return with a cake that his wife baked?
    If he was being seriously considered, one would think that he would have been arrested by now.
    To my mind, the killer and Audrey did have a history of knowing each other, and over a period of time.
    I wonder what the souvenier was? I wonder if it could have been a simple thing, such as a ring?
    The comment of the souvenier was given more as an after thought in the article by Jon Wells, so if it was a "body part" one would think that would have made major headlines with Jon Wells' reporting of it.
    I agree with you that the killer is/and can be dangerous, if placed in similar circumstances.
    Would not be surprised if he has shown a quick temper in his everyday life. May be married, but if so, it would be one of convenience, and rather loveless. May still be tied to his mother as well, and resents it. I think older, not younger, and not necessarily living close to her home.
    Definately has seethed with inner rage for a period of a very long time. Perhaps he felt ridiculed,put down, humiliated by the victim, and discarded as an individual from her past.
    I enjoy your blog - read it often.

  8. I agree. The police would have ruled him out with DNA, alibis etc by now. He would have been the first person they looked at.

    The missing item being a body part was an educated guess based on descriptions of this being the worst murder the investigators had seen, and the fact that the missing item was not identified. If it was a ring, for example, wouldn't it be more productive if they released more details about it. That way, if anybody was given the ring or had seen this item in somebody's possession, they could tell police? If a body part was taken however, they would not tell the public because 1) nobody would have seen the body part but the killer, 2) they want to keep some secrecy in order to rule out false confessions. I would be inclined to think it might be something like cash or Audrey's wallet, save for the fact that nothing was stolen from the interior of the house. If the motive was material, that is something I'd expect to have happened.

    Just out of curiosity, why do you think this is an older rather than younger offender?

    I'm glad you enjoy the blog and thanks for contributing :)

  9. Why an Older rather than a younger killer? Good question.
    The murder which was so brutal and horrific tells me that the person had to make sure that she was dead,(overkill), so that she could never tell. He detested her, and was also very afraid of her all at the same time. Also, the time spent in her garage killing her, he knew that he was not placing himself at great risk of being discovered, as oppossed to a stranger as he was very familiar with Audrey's habits, background, and even how she was viewed in the neighbourhood.
    And again, it comes down to Audrey's death prediction. Audrey was by all accounts not an easy person to get to know, and so to my way of thinking it would take a sharing of past history there, in order for Audrey to bring someone into her death scenario as a confidente. Taking all of the above, I would think that this person is older -
    I have a question for you, and you may be able to help me with this one.
    Audrey met and visited people in her garage or outside on a bench.
    Yet, there were items missing after her murder.
    Who would know what Audrey had? If they had never been into her home, or for that matter her garage? How would they know that anything was missing?

  10. Wasn't Chalk River a place where the swingin' sixties happened, and femilies paid the price?

  11. I'd like to begin by apologizing for my tardiness in approving these comments. Recently I have been totally immersed in proof reading the PDFs for Cold North Killers, and to be honest, I just plain forgot.

    To the person who wrote the second last comment: I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on the point of the offenders age. I see the overkill as resulting from a fusion of pent up sexual frustration and anger, also possibly a paraphillia called "picquerism."

    Having now stood outside Audrey Gleave's house in the winter, I can honestly say it is obvious to anyone that it is the PERFECT location for a murder. You can't see any of the house except a peep of the garage from the road. For this reason, I don't think we need to factor in an older man's wisdom when it came to picking the crime scene. There's something intuitive about the location which is hard to describe unless you stand outside it yourself. If you haven't, I really recommend doing so.

    In answer to your question, I am making an educated guess that "what was taken" was, in fact, a body part. Hence the unparalleled brutality of the murder referred to by the police. Frankly, I think a portion of the buttocks or genitals was excised.

  12. I'd like to add some insight as to the geography of the area, as i've lived my whole life about 5 mins. down the road from the gleave residence. I have no criminal profiling experience whatsoever.

    Audrey's home can be accessed by Lynden road, requiring a less than 5 min. walk across a field, then maybe 30 secs. through the trees surrounding her house. It can also be easily accessed from Indian Trail with no one noticing. There is also a large field on the left of her home with a small fringe of trees surrounding her house. There are little to no street lights in the area, and a bike trail leading as far as Toronto a few mins. down the road. Her home is almost entirely surrounded by trees, mostly deciduous, so it would still be concealed in the winter.

    There has also been a recent onslaught of attacs in Hamilton lately, the attacer being described (and caught on tape) as african-american, around 25 years old and over 6 ft. tall. He has been seen waiting on the sidewalk and then pursuing and stabbing radom men and women, then taking off on bie or foot. One attack, that was caught on tape, was entirely carried out on a bike. He seems to lack the intent to kill though, only causing superficial wounds and not sticing around to see the result. I can also say the young man who discovered Audrey is definitely not the culprit.

  13. Hey. Thanks for posting! I have an inkling you were the person who originally brought my attention to the attacks in Hamilton in the first place. I'd like to thank you for that. I posted regarding the offender in my latest update. The fact that he gets around on a bike, and there is a trail so close to Audrey's house only strengthens my interest in this character - let's call him "The Hamilton Stabber."

    I'd say he has a paraphillia called piquerism. Check it out: Notice that most attacks are directed at the groin, breast or buttocks. What was the one area of the body where we know clothing was removed from Audrey Gleave? The lower half of the body. Also according to FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood (either in his book "Dark Dreams" or "The Evil that Men Do", an inordinate amount of offenders who sexually attack and murder elderly white women are black. Bike/Bike trail + piquerist/stabs to lower body + black man/elderly white female victim = Damn good suspect. The one thing that comes into question is: after brutally butchering a woman, could such an offender de-escalate to non-fatal drive by stabbings? It seems unlikely, but as of now, there don't seem to be any better suspects on the radar.

    You say you live 5 minutes from the Gleave residence: did the police ever interview any members of your household to find out which males were staying there during the time surrounding the murder? If they did, did they come back and get an alibi?

  14. Yes, and you're welcome :) Here is a link to footage of "The Hamilton Stabber" in action, I tried posting it earlier, but the link didn't work. hopefully that works, if not it can be googled as "Stabbing King and Wentworth".

    No police ever came around our residence, and we were expecting at the time. We had three adult males in the house at the time (not that they'd be involved), none were questioned. We sighted a few police cars in the area, but that is all. Several of my friends who are close neighbours to Ms. Gleave were not questioned either. The Police also never visited the post office, general store etc.. as far as I've heard, and I asked.

    Also, I said there are mostly deciduous trees surrounding her home, I obviously meant coniferous, just to clarify.