April 10, 2006

Victims in Canadian mass murder from Toronto area

TORONTO (Reuters) - Eight men found murdered in a rural
Ontario town were from the Toronto area, but police refused to
say on Sunday if an organized gang was responsible for the mass
killings, among the worst in Canada's recent history.

Police believe the victims found on Saturday were
acquainted. But investigators released few other details, such
as the men's names, and said the number of bodies was slowing
the autopsy process.

"Obviously, we're not used to having eight people at one
homicide scene," Detective Superintendent Ross Bingley of the
Ontario Provincial Police told a news conference.

The victims, all white men, were found in or near three
cars and a tow truck in a farmer's field and adjacent dirt road
in Shedden, a southwest Ontario town about 130 miles from
Toronto -- midway between that city and Detroit.

"At this point in time we are confident that the victims
were known to each other and from the greater Toronto area,"
Bingley said. It was the largest number of bodies at a single
murder scene that he could remember in nearly three decades as
a policeman.

The town is located in a county known to have biker gang
activity, including the Hells Angles, but Bingley refused to
say if there was any evidence of gang involvement.

Local media reported the men had been shot to death, but
police would not confirm that. Nor would they say whether the
men had been killed where their bodies were found until the
autopsies have been completed

News photographers who flew over the scene said some of the
bodies were sprawled in the cars and the tow truck had a
vehicle attached to it.

Police said the farming couple who discovered the bodies
were receiving care.