A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[URBAN NOTE] “Why part of TTC’s St. Patrick station is still sealed off after 1975 murder”

The Toronto Star‘s Ellen Brait tells the sad story of how a 1976 murder led to change on the Toronto subway (though according to the victim’s survivors, not enough).

It’s been 42 years but the Peters family still can’t bring themselves to exit the subway at St. Patrick station. In 1975, 16-year-old Mariam Peters, was brutally murdered in the station’s darkened passageways.

Mariam, a Grade 11 student at A. Y. Jackson Secondary School, was leaving St. Patrick station on Nov. 7, 1975 around 8 p.m. to visit her sick grandfather at Mount Sinai Hospital when she was stabbed 16 times. Police found her on the escalator and she died four days later from her injuries.

“I’m a father of four girls. None of my girls, none of my family get off at the St. Patrick station. A lot of it due to the memory,” Jeffrey Peters, who was 13 at the time of his sister’s murder, said. “I have one daughter who went to school just south of the Mount Sinai Hospital. She would get off at a different subway stop and walk many blocks to go to school every day in order to avoid that subway station.”

Following Mariam’s death, the Peters family, especially Mariam’s mother Merle Peters, were vocal in their push for the installation of closed circuit television scanners to watch the deserted parts of the subway stations.

“When I went down to that subway, I was choked. I had a feeling I was trapped in a dungeon,” Merle, who was unavailable for comment for this story told the Star in a 1976 interview, after returning to the spot of her daughter’s attack. “There was nowhere I could get help from. I can see that when Mariam was attacked, she did not have a chance, especially at St. Patrick. In the subway, it was like being cut off from the world.”

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Written by Randy McDonald

January 7, 2017 at 5:00 pm

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