'Your violence has escalated with every offence'

"In 1998, a psychiatrist noted that not only do you have many of the features of psychopathy, but added: 'Two people are dead, one was nearly killed, and it would be naive to think that his convictions represent the sum of his sexual violence … Mr. Henry is a serial killer and, unusually, his victims have involved both males and females."

The Globe and Mail
March 10, 2009

'Your violence has escalated with every offence'
National Parole Board documents portray James Henry as a lifelong predator. Now police say his crimes fit the pattern of 2 cold cases
Peter Cheney

The hunt for a killer who stalked Toronto's gay community back in the 1960s has led police to Mountain Prison, in the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver. This is the home of James Henry, formerly known as James Greenidge, a sexual predator with a rap sheet that stretches back to 1953.

Mr. Henry, now in his seventies, fits the profile of a serial killer responsible for a series of murders with an eerily familiar pattern: The victim was picked up in downtown Toronto by a muscular black man driving a white Corvair (the car condemned by safety activist Ralph Nader in his book Unsafe at Any Speed) then driven into the country, tied up with a length of twine, raped, and killed.

Ontario Provincial Police confirmed that they have interviewed Mr. Henry more than once as they investigate a series of cold cases that are now at the centre of a national media spotlight.

"We've spoken with him," said Detective Inspector Dave Quigley, an OPP investigator who helped reopen the long-stalled cases through DNA evidence and forensic reconstructions that gave faces to a pair of skulls. "That's about all we can say about it."
Print Edition - Section Front

National Parole Board documents portray Mr. Henry as a lifelong predator, driven by twisted urges that have resulted in a long series of crimes against both men and women.

"You have a lengthy history of sexually related violent behaviour which started when you were merely 16," the board noted in 2006. "You objectify sex-trade workers and have offended against males, females and one 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl. Your violence has escalated with every offence…"

The board denied Mr. Henry parole for his most recent crime, the brutal 1980 slaying of a Vancouver female prostitute. But that killing, the board noted, was just one in a long series of violent acts that went back to 1955, when Mr. Henry raped a 14-year-old girl in Toronto after dragging her into a downtown alley.

Mr. Henry was sent to prison for 10 years for that crime, but returned to his violent ways almost as soon as he was released, in the mid-1960s. In 1968, he picked up a male prostitute in Toronto's gay district, then drove him into the country, where he raped him and stabbed him to death. A week later, he did the same thing again with a second male prostitute, but his victim survived, and went on to testify against Mr. Henry, sending him back to prison until 1978, when he was released on parole, only to kill again just two years later.

Police note a series of parallels between Mr. Henry's 1968 crimes against the male prostitutes and the revitalized cold cases now being pursued by the OPP. Both 17-year-old Richard Hovey of Fredericton and 18-year-old Eric Jones of Noelville, Ont., went unidentified for more than four decades. Now, both are being considered as possible victims of Mr. Henry.

Both young men disappeared in the summer of 1967 after being picked up by a "muscular black man" driving a white Corvair. Skeletal remains were later discovered far outside the city. Mr. Jones remains were found by a hunter in December, 1967. Mr. Hovey's were discovered in May of 1968. Neither victim could be identified, and the remains were stored in plastic containers at the coroner's office.

Facial reconstructions by an Ottawa specialist finally led to the discovery of the victims' identities. Mr. Hovey was identified in 2006. Police revealed yesterday they had identified Mr. Jones.

Police investigators noticed similarities between the killings and the 1968 cases in which Mr. Henry was convicted. As in the other cases, Mr. Jones and Mr. Hovey were naked, and had their hands tied with lengths of white twine. Police also noted that the killings took place during a period when Mr. Henry was out of prison. Another case, involving remains found near Markham, Ont., in 1980, is also being probed for similarities with Mr. Henry's other crimes. The Parole Board noted Mr. Henry's psychological history. He was raised by a strict, abusive aunt. At the age of five, he developed tuberculosis, and was placed in a sanitarium, where he was forced to clean toilets. He began running away from home at nine, and began his life of crime as a bicycle thief, and was placed in a reform school, where he was physically and sexually assaulted.

By 16, he had worked as a male prostitute, and had begun to exhibit sexually violent behaviour.

In 2006, the parole board turned down Mr. Henry's most recent bid for parole, noting his lengthy record and negative assessments: "In 1998, a psychiatrist noted that not only do you have many of the features of psychopathy, but added: 'Two people are dead, one was nearly killed, and it would be naive to think that his convictions represent the sum of his sexual violence … Mr. Henry is a serial killer and, unusually, his victims have involved both males and females."


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