OPP, Kingston police charge local man with 3 historic murders
Two people were arrested in Kingston, Ont., on Thursday in relation to an alleged murderous crime spree that began almost a quarter-century ago.
Police allege 65-year-old Michael Wentworth, also known as Michael Verney, from Kingston, killed three people in and around the city. His former wife, Sandra Carr, 52, of Kingston, was also arrested and charged for allegedly obstructing justice and being complicit in one of the murders.
It is alleged that Wentworth brutally beat 92-year-old Henrietta Knight during a violent break-and-enter at her Kingston home in 1995. She died as a result of her injuries five months later.
WATCH: A look back at the historic murder of Henrietta Knight
Police say 30-year-old Richard Kimball went missing in 1995 and is presumed to be murdered by Wentworth. Carr’s charge of being party to first-degree murder is in relation to Kimball’s presumed death.
A suspicious fire at a residence on Joyceville Road in Kingston killed 47-year-old Stephen St. Denis in 2001 — police allege that Wentworth was responsible for that fire.
Although three people were killed, OPP have not classified Wentworth as a serial killer. Det. Inspector Brad Collins with the OPP said Knight was simply a random victim but that the two other victims knew Wentworth before they died.
Not only was Wentworth charged in relation to the deaths of those three people, police also say that he committed an armed robbery at the TD Bank on Days Road in Kingston on July 4, 1995, and that he detonated an explosive device in the City of Toronto on July 19, 2000 — no one was injured but police say the explosive caused extensive damage to residences and surrounding vehicles.
Wentworth is facing nine charges, including first-degree murder for each of the deceased, armed robbery, disguise with intent, hostage taking with a firearm, possession of an explosive device, endangering life by planting an explosive device, intentional and reckless cause of damage by explosion.
WATCH: Kingston Police and O.P.P. deal with historic homicides
“These crimes may have occurred almost a quarter-century ago, but any such unsolved crimes are continually reviewed with investigative tips and avenues explored until all leads are exhausted,” said Chief of Kingston police Antje McNeely at a joint news conference held by Kingston police and OPP.
The news conference came just a day after several Kingston police and OPP vehicles were seen at two locations in the east end of Kingston, Ont. Thursday afternoon.
WATCH: Kingston Police along with the OPP announce they’ve made two arrests in a string of violent robberies and murders that took place nearly 24 years ago.
Police confirmed that the heavy police presence seen on Thursday at buildings on Middle Road and on Cottage Farm Road were a part of a year-long joint Kingston police and OPP investigation into the homicides. OPP said that officers were executing search warrants at the two residences over Thursday and Friday, as part of the investigation, and will be there for a number of additional days.
“We don’t have any information that anything is buried in regards to a body, but we’re looking for evidence to support the charges that we’ve laid,” said Det. Inspector Jim Gorry with the OPP.
Gorry also said that DNA was used as part of the investigation, but would not detail how.
WATCH: Police were able to focus attention on Kingston suspects 1 year ago
OPP said the investigation into the cold cases began again one year ago, and that they were extremely pleased with Thursday’s arrest.
“A tremendous amount of work has gone into this investigation, and not just over the last push and the last year. As I said, these matters go on from the initial occurrence,” said Collins.
Collins added that over the last year, around 50 or 60 officers were involved in the investigation, and on Thursday’s “take-down day” he said more than 120 officers were involved.
Both Carr and Wentworth appeared in criminal court on Friday afternoon. The Crown asked for a 72 hour stay on the case because the investigation was ongoing. Due to the seriousness of their crimes, both cases will need to be dealt with in the Superior Court of Justice.
Both suspects were given a long list of names of people they were prohibited to contact until their next court appearance, many names seemed to be family members, including the daughter of both Wentworth and Carr.
Both suspects will remain in custody until Feb. 22, when they will appear in court via video.
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.