Dark Poutine podcast recap: Emanuel Jaques, the Shoeshine Boy Murder
On this week’s episode of the Dark Poutine podcast, we look at the murder of 12-year-old Emanuel Jaques.
Emanuel Jaques was born in October 1964 and was the son of Portuguese immigrants, who had moved to Toronto in search of new opportunities. Jaques worked daily as a shoeshine boy on Yonge Street, which at the time was a seedy part of downtown.
On July 28, 1977, Jaques was shining shoes at Yonge and Dundas streets when he was approached by a man offering money in exchange for his help. Instead, he was lured to an apartment above a body rub parlour on Yonge Street where he was then sexually assaulted and murdered.
Several days after Jaques’s disappearance, Saul David Betesh confessed to the murder, and Jaque’s body was found hidden under a pile of wood on the roof of the building to which he was lured. Betesh also named three other men — Robert Wayne Kribs, Joseph Woods and Werner Gruener — who were employed as security as the massage parlour as participants in the murder.
The four were charged with murder. Betesh, Robert Kribs and Joseph Woods were convicted and Gruener was acquitted.
The 12-year-old’s murder prompted numerous protests demanding the city clean up the Yonge Street area. These became a catalyst to a more conventional entertainment district, and new developments such as Dundas Square would revitalize the area to what we know today.
WATCH: (Aug. 8, 2017) Death of 12-year-old shoeshine boy 40 years ago paved new path for Toronto’s Yonge Street
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