Murder charge after 1993 cold case revisited

Man, 63, arrested 25 years after Barbara Brodkin stabbed to death on Balliol

Twenty-five years after a six-year-old boy found his mother, Barbara Brodkin, stabbed to death at 155 Balliol St., a 63-year-old man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Police attributed the arrest to recent DNA analysis of the evidence from the original investigation in 1993 when DNA testing was in its infancy.

“Now 25 years later, the boy who found his mother murdered in their apartment can have some answers,” Det. Sgt. Stacy Gallant of Toronto Police’s Homicide-Cold Case unit told a press conference Oct. 22.

“Although there be a process for this case to work its way through the justice system, at the very least he can know we never gave up,” Gallant said.

At about 8 a.m. on March 19, 1993, police responded to a 911 call from the boy in his apartment seeking help for his mother who had been stabbed to death.

Police identified the woman as Barbara Brodkin, 41, a secretary-typist born in Toronto, separated from her husband, and raising her son.

An investigation was launched and for several months police canvassed for witnesses, examined evidence, used polygraphs, checked phone and banking records, and interviewed more than 100 people, Gallant recounted at the press conference. “Her alleged killer was never identified and the case went cold.”

In August 2018, the case was reviewed and further forensic examination was done on evidence collected at the time of the offence, resulting in a DNA profile that led to the identification of the suspect, Gallant said.

Brodkin’s cousin, Herb Brodkin, also addressed the press conference to thank the police for their persistence in this case.

He said to Gallant, “To me, when you called me on Friday [with news of the arrest], you gave new meaning to the words that I’ve always respected in the emblem of the Toronto Police Service … to serve and to protect.”

He said he was proud of the Toronto police. “Up until recently I thought cold cases was just something that happened in a TV series in the States.”

Charles William Mustard was arrested on Oct. 19 and charged with first-degree murder. 

He is to appear in court on Oct. 24.

Police say they are looking for a “Dirk” or “Linda” or anyone else who may have known the victim and the accused in or around 1993 and may have information to assist in the case.

Gallant said more cold cases are being investigated and may lead to arrests. “There will be many more to come.”


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Posted: Oct 22 2018 4:59 pm