1974-?? Update

Archive - 1973

Homicide #??

Date - 1973-03-01

Victim - Smallpiece, Edith (65)
Accused - UNSOLVED
Charge -

On Thursday, March 1, 1973, the body of 65-year old Edith Smallpiece was found in the hallway of her apartment at 227 Vaughan Street (The Brunswick Apartments). She had been struck numerous times about the head and face with a blunt instrument. There is no indication that her apartment was ransacked, suggesting that she may have surprised her attacker.

Ms. Smallpiece was last known to be alive on or before February 22, 1973, however no one recalled seeing her after that date. She was single never married and lived a secluded life style. She never carried more than a small amount of money and rarely associated with family or friends outside of her apartment. She was reported to have been very cautious about keeping the door to her suite locked and the night chain in place whenever she was home.

Because of her lifestyle Ms. Smallpiece would have been a very low risk victim of violent crime. As there was no evidence of a struggle or that any other crime had been committed (no over turned furniture, broken glass, forced entry, rifled drawers, pockets turned inside out, no missing jewelry, purse contents not strewn about, etc), it appears that she may have surprised her attacker during another, unrelated incident.

Other than the assault, there are few signs of interaction between Ms. Smallpiece and the offender, possibly suggesting that her death was not part of the suspect?s initial plan. However, since there is no evidence of another crime being committed (ie: rape, robbery, theft) it appears that the suspect did not finish what he came for or that his original plans were interrupted.

Although the motive for this killing remains obscure, a tenant living below Ms. Smallpiece recalled hearing a loud, piercing scream at about 3:30 p.m. on Friday, February 23. When she looked out her apartment door she heard the sound of running footsteps on the floor above her and then observed a male coming down the stairs and then run out the front doors of the building, turning north onto Vaughan Street.

Although there was no sign of forced entry to Ms. Smallpiece?s suite, it was later determined that a break and enter had occurred to the apartment next door, sometime after February 22. As the tenant from this suite was out of town, the break and enter was not immediately discovered. Based on the scream heard by the downstairs tenant, the last time she was seen alive and the discovery of her body a few days later, it is believed that Ms. Smallpiece was killed on or about 3:30 p.m. on February 23.

It is further believed that after hearing suspicious noises next-door, Ms. Smallpiece opened her apartment door and surprised the intruder as he left her neighbour's suite. In the panic or confusion of getting caught it is likely that the offender killed her out of panic, probably with the tool or instrument he used for breaking into the apartment in the first place. It is believed that the suspect was between 20 & 40 years of age at the time and that he likely had a record for similar offences.

If you have any information about this case, please contact Crime Stoppers at 786-TIPS (8477), or e-mail Sgt. Al Bradbury and Det. Jon Lutz of the Cold Case Homicide Unit.