Twenty-five years after Barbara Brodkin’s murder, her alleged killer has been arrested.
On March 19, 1993, the victim’s then six-year-old son called 9-1-1 from her Balliol St. apartment seeking help for his mom who he believed was deceased.
The case, which went cold after an extensive investigation, was reviewed last year.
“Additional forensic examinations on evidence collected at the time of the offence were sent to the Centre for Forensic Sciences (CFS) for DNA examinations,” said Detective Sergeant Stacy Gallant at a news conference at police headquarters on October 22. “This evidence revealed a DNA profile. The donor of that profile has been identified through this investigation.”
Charles William Mustard, 63, was identified, investigated and arrested on October 19 for the murder.
Married in 1983, Brodkin separated from her husband eight years later and worked various jobs as secretary or typist while raising her son.
Gallant said the investigation revealed that the victim and suspect were acquainted.
“They knew each other,” he said. “They were not strangers. The young boy who found his mother murdered in their apartment can now 25 years later have some answers. It will take some time to work its way through the justice system, but at the very least, he can know that we never gave up.”
Constable Rob Thomas, the first officer who responded to the call back in 1993, was central in this investigation as the lead polygraph officer in Toronto.
“He prepared for and became the lead interview officer on the team responsible for conducting the interview of the now accused,” said Gallant. “He continued to feel a connection to this case over the years and never forgot it.”
Gallant credited the dedicated work of forensic technologists and scientists at the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) that located the DNA years later.
“Our Cold Case Unit continues to work very closely with the CFS in an effort to solve as many cases possible,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Herb Brodkin – a first cousin of the deceased – thanked cold case investigators for their persistence.
“When you called me on Friday (October 19), you give new meaning to the words I have always respected and that is ‘to serve and protect’,” he said. “I was so impressed by the diligence that went into this effort to now bring this matter before our courts.”
Gallant is urging persons that knew the deceased and the suspect to contact police.
“More specifically, if your name is Dirk or Linda and you knew Barbara and Charlie or Charles, please reach out to us at the Homicide Cold Case Unit at (416) 808-7410,” said Gallant, of acquaintances.
Mustard will make his first court appearance via video on October 24.
Gallant had a direct message for individuals who feel they have gotten away with murder.
“We will never give up,” he said. “Don’t stop looking behind you because we will come for you.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7410, at Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.