The Case

On the afternoon of Jan 18, 2001, David Buller was stabbed repeatedly in his office in the University Of Toronto’s Visual Studies department at 1 Spadina Cresent. His body was found early the next morning by a caretaker.

The media paid close attention to the criminal investigation in the months that followed. David’s life was placed under scrutiny. In the absence of answers, there were theories. Because he was a gay man, there was much speculation about the risks David may have taken. There was a tacit assumption that he had been the victim of a hate crime. There were leading questions about his art, as though hints of what had happened to him might be contained in those canvases.

In January of 2001 we believed the case would be solved quickly. Ten years later, the perpetrator is still at large.

For the full text of this article, please see Remembering David Buller by Karyn Sandlos, March 18, 2004, Xtra! Canada's Gay and Lesbian News.

Anyone with information about the case, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or Det Doug Sansom at (416) 808-7391.


More information about the case:


Family hopes new evidence will solve cold case murder
By Terry Davidson
January 18, 2014
Toronto Sun


Portrait of a Life Cut Short
By Michael Friscolante
November 2013
Maclean's, "Canada's Greatest Unsolved Mysteries," Special Edition
Art teacher’s unsolved murder still haunts family
By Megan Ogilvie
January 17, 2011
Toronto Star

Remembering David Buller
By Karyn Sandlos
Xtra! Canada's Gay and Lesbian News
March 18, 2004


CFTO-TV News Report
January 20, 2001 - Toronto
View video »
CITY-TV News Report
January 20, 2001 - Toronto
View video »
Cold Cases: Revisiting Unsolved Homicides
By James Dubro
Xtra! Canada's Gay and Lesbian News
May 8, 2008

Excerpt:

"He was likely at his computer sitting on his chair writing when the killer came in during the school day on Jan 18, 2001," says Det Sgt Ken Taylor. "He was stabbed repeatedly in the torso and as he fell from his chair his body hit the computer cord and pulled out the plug."

Saunders says there was no useable DNA evidence found at the scene and no security camera in the building at that time.

It's believed that Buller was killed between 1pm when he was spotted near the building that housed his office and 6pm when he was supposed to be teaching a class. His body was not discovered until 7am the next morning when he was found by a caretaker. 

"The crime scene was pristine," says Taylor, adding that robbery has been ruled out as a motive. 

"The killer knew where he was going and likely knew him," says Saunders, adding that Buller's office space was in an out-of-the-way location.

Saunders says police investigated Buller's relationships, students and academic colleagues as well as his online life on chat sites including M4M4Sex but identified no suspects.

Taylor, a veteran homicide investigator, says he's haunted by the case. He says he still sometimes "gets up in the middle of the night thinking of it." 

"It really bothers me... that someone just walked in, stabbed the professor to death and didn't get caught," says Taylor.