HUNTER: Cops hope killing days of October fade with the weather

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The grim carnage ravaging the streets of the GTA over the past 10 days comes with a question mark.

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And a somewhat tattered silver lining.

Cops don’t know why but they’re still ahead of the game compared to recent years.

That likely provides little consolation to the families of Douglas Devlin and Vincenza Galloro.

Early Friday, Devlin, 54, of Toronto, was shot several times in a plaza parking lot around the Kennedy-Ellesmere Rds. area. Mortally wounded, Devlin staggered across the street where he collapsed on the property of a gas station.

He later died in hospital. Devlin was the apparent victim of a botched robbery and the city’s 73rd homicide of the year. So far, no one has been charged.

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According to cops, Vincenza Galloro, 67, was allegedly murdered in her North York home by an adult son on Saturday. Antonio Galloro, 43, is charged with second-degree murder.

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Toronto Police homicide Insp. Hank Idsinga is pictured on Dec. 16, 2019.
Toronto Police homicide Insp. Hank Idsinga is pictured on Dec. 16, 2019. Photo by Ernest Doroszuk, Toronto Sun /Toronto Sun

The two murders were just the latest in a very busy 10 days for homicide detectives and Insp. Hank Idsinga was quick to caution that the sky is not falling in.

“October has historically been a busy month for us. I don’t know why,” Idsinga told The Toronto Sun . “We had 10 murders, eight of those came in the last week and a half.  (Seven of those are shootings). We’ve seen these surges before.”

A part of the Toronto homicide story that seldom gets told is that detectives are getting better at closing cases — even tough-to-crack gangbanger murders. A quick peek at the stats tells the tale.

A neighbour drops off flowers on Oct. 31, 2021 in front of the North York home where 67-year old Vincenza Galloro was murdered.
A neighbour drops off flowers on Oct. 31, 2021 in front of the North York home where 67-year old Vincenza Galloro was murdered.

Idsinga noted that year on year, the murder rate — in sheer numbers and per capita — is falling.

In fact, the Toronto Police Service homicide unit has one of the highest clearance rates of any murder police squad in North America. Around 75% last year and headed in the same direction in 2021.

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And, as Idsinga will tell you, over time more cases will be solved

“We’re still on the positive side when it comes to solving them — which speaks highly to the dedication and professionalism of the investigators and all of the first responders and support Units,” Idsinga said.

“Hopefully the media releases announcing arrests and charges in sheer [and more to come soon], coupled with the news of convictions will make people think twice before doing something so foolhardy as pulling a trigger in this city.”

When it comes to murder numbers, Idsinga has traditionally taken the long view. Sometimes, during a given period of time, knuckleheads get overwhelmed with the desire to make a statement about their manhood and squeeze the trigger.

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Have no illusions: You will be caught.

Just ask David Benjamin and Leary Hibbert, both 41 — and both of Toronto — who are each charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.

The pair were arrested and charged with the Oct. 21 murder of Nikie Timm, 37. Timm and a pal were both shot on Bakersfield St., near Sheppard Ave. W. and Keele St.

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The friend made it, Nikie Timm did not.

There will be more murders in the GTA before Pandemic Year 2 gasps that it’s through but so far cops have kept a lid on the crime rate truly spiraling out of control.

For now.

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun

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