Parkdale phantom maniac attacks again

By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective
Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.
Returning from my Wednesday morning swim I stopped off at one of my coffee shops to read the paper and see and hear what was going on in the neighbourhood.

"Parkdale attack victim is 'getting out of here'", read the headline in the Greater Toronto Section of the Toronto Star.

I was alarmed as I read the details of the latest attack in Parkdale, a block away from my apartment building.

Previous attacks, and one death, had been targeted at people with mental disabilities.

This latest attack was on a man who has none of these problems. Dan Chiarelli is an out of work mechanic.

In his words, "I am getting out of here ASAP. The first place I can find, I'm gone."

This really upset me. As I had said in a previous column, "We can't let this maniac drive us out of Parkdale.

The attacker himself is obviously the mentally disturbed individual who needs help before someone else dies. 

Everyone in the coffee shop was talking about what happened.

One patron told me he had just put a deposit on an apartment on Maynard St. The very street where all this is happening.

I tried to reassure him he had made the correct decision. That was a good building he was moving into. I had done lot of canvassing in Parkdale and that building was very secure.

I emphasised once again to everyone in the coffee shop, we can't let this maniac destroy our neighbourhood.

It could, and does happen, in other neighbourhoods.

But we did question where are the police?

They had a police car and neighbourhood unit on the street for a week after the death of the last victim.

As soon as it left this happens.

According to police, "The homicide division is investigating and police say officers in plain cloths and uniform have been patrolling 24 hours a day."

Patrolling 24 hours a day? Then how did this happen? On the very same street. Again on Maynard?

They had asked us to report any "suspicious" individuals.

Now we are all looking at each other "suspicously".  

I caught myself looking at people in a different light. Then quickly regained my senses.

Do we have to have a neighbourhood patrol?

As one resident said, "somebody's obviously targeting people here." Meaning this street and particular buildings on this street.

Our neighbourhood will stick together and I hope the latest victim will stay and see his attacker arrested and charged with murder.

My Parkdale

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