Joseph Sutherland

Joseph George Sutherland, 61, was arrested on November 25, 2022, by the Ontario Provisional Police in Moosonee, Ontario for the home invasion rapes and murders of two women in central Toronto in 1983.

Susan Tice, 45, was murdered on August 17, 1983. Her home had been ransacked by an unknown intruder, and she was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her bedroom. She was a social worker and mother our four who had recently moved to Toronto from Calgary.

Erin Gilmour, 22, was murdered on December 20, 1983, in her apartment in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood. She had also been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death.

A DNA profile of the suspect was obtained in 2011 from DNA found at the crime scenes. At that time, the two crimes were linked to the same suspect in the victim’s index of Canada’s National DNA Database.

The FIGG investigation was conducted by Othram in partnership with the Toronto Police Service, who performed the genealogical portion of the investigation. The final confirmation was made to the crime scene samples through a warrant for Sutherland’s DNA profile.

Police narrowed the suspect list down to Sutherland and his four brothers. His brothers were all surreptitiously sampled and eliminated as contributors to the crime scene DNA. They could not surreptitiously sample Sutherland’s DNA, as he was living in Moosonee, a remote community in northern Ontario. They also could not do a trash pull, since residents of Moosonee do not keep garbage near their homes but take it to a local dump.

Toronto police have stated that Sutherland had no prior criminal record and had never been connected with the investigation into the murders. He was living in Toronto at the time of the murders. He is currently facing two charges of first-degree murder in Ontario Superior Court.

Police state that over 5,000 men were suspects in the homicides before Sutherland’s arrest. Police continue to investigate Sutherland for similar crimes committed in Ontario outside of Toronto.

On October 5, 2023, Sutherland pled guilty to two counts of first-degree murder. He will be sentenced in March of 2024.


CBC News. “Man Arrested and Charged in Grisly 1983 Killings of 2 Women in Toronto, Police Say.” CBC News, November 28, 2022. Accessed November 30, 2022.

CBC News. “Man Pleads Guilty in Grisly 1983 Killings of 2 Toronto Women.” CBC News, October 5, 2023. Accessed October 9, 2023.

Gillis, Wendy. “How Police Got DNA Evidence for Two Cold-Case Sex-Assault Murders from a Suspect in a Remote Northern Town.” Toronto Star, December 22, 2023.

Hunter, Brad. “Toronto Cops Name Suspect in Brutal 1983 Susan Tice-Erin Gilmour Murders.” Toronto Sun, November 28, 2022. Accessed November 30, 2022.

Toronto Police Service. “TPS Announces Arrest in Cold Case Homicides #28/1983, Susan Nice, 45, & #48/1983, Erin Gilmour.” You Tube (Press Conference), November 28, 2022. Accessed November 30, 2022.

Vogen, Michael. “Toronto Police Service Uses Othram’s Genetic Testing Platform to Solve the 1983 Murders of Susan Tice and Erin Gilmour.”, November 28, 2022. Accessed November 30, 2022.


First Name Joseph
Last Name Sutherland
Other Names
Victims 2 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2022-11-25
IGG Org Othram; Toronto PS


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1793 Susan Tice 45 1983-08-17 Toronto, ON Toronto PS First degree murder Guilty plea entered by defendant Ontario SUP CT
1794 Erin Gilmour 22 1983-12-20 Toronto, ON Toronto PS First degree murder Guilty plea entered by defendant Ontario SUP CT

Last updated: February 13, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.