The family of a slain Scarborough man hope news of his cracked, decades-old cold case brings comfort to other victim families waiting for justice to be served.
Kevin McBride was found with multiple stab wounds in his apartment in May 1982. His case went cold until 2016, when it was revisited by cold case investigators who wanted to re-examine exhibits and seized items from the original investigation with the hope that advancements in forensic testing could generate new leads.
Last week, after putting "thousands" of hours into the case, Toronto police said they identified the suspected killer behind McBride's death. Police say a man named William Taylor was identified as the source of the unknown DNA left at the scene. That determination was made in August 2023.
McBride's family, who are based in Australia, said the breakthrough comes with mixed feelings.
"It's good to get a result after all these years. We weren't expecting that," said Sherryn Watson, McBride's niece.
"It's just a shame that they weren't able to come up with this result before he passed away."
Toronto police said Taylor died in May 2023, but if he was alive, he would be arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of McBride.
While the family is glad to have answers, they say justice hasn't been served yet. There remain several questions concerning why the death occurred, and they hope that isn't the case for other families of homicide victims waiting for developments in their cold cases.
"There's still hope," said McBride's sister, Myrna Wicks, told CBC Toronto.
"And no doubt there will be further advances in technology, as time goes by, that it makes it harder for them to escape being prosecuted."
Kevin McBride's family said he was known to love good-quality furniture and antiques. (Submitted by Myrna Wicks and Sherryn Watson)
McBride remembered as a well-dressed, 'kind' man
McBride, who was 47 years old at the time of his death, lived in Toronto for over 16 years after moving from Australia. Wicks said he had a reputation both in the country and overseas as a "very kind, fun-loving, generous person."
"He made so many friends both in Canada and different, other countries he visited," she said.
He had a knack for window dressing and loved photography, his family said. On top of his taste for good-quality furniture, antiques and cars, he was known for dressing well.
"I remember him walking me to the bus to go to school and he was dressed up in this suit and had like a walking stick sort of thing with him, and a fancy hat," said Watson. "I thought I was pretty special walking to school with him dressed like that. But that's how he dressed."
Kevin McBride was known to family as someone who liked to dress well. (Submitted by Myrna Wicks and Sherryn Watson)
Recalling a memory of McBride that sticks out, Wicks remembers one of his outfits making an impression the day they visited one of their sisters in hospital.
"He was so nicely dressed and his little case in his hand, they thought he was a surgeon and started taking him around the other patients," she said with a laugh.
Wicks said news of the breakthrough in the case, while welcome, brings back memories of McBride, which is "very sad." But they hope his name being resurfaced helps reconnect them with some of McBride's old friends and they can learn more about him that way.
"It'd be nice to know more about Kev and his friends," said Watson.