Woodcock in 1957.
March 5, 1939|
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
|Died||March 5, 2010
Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada
|Number of victims||4|
|Span of killings||1956–1991|
David Michael Krueger (March 5, 1939 – March 5, 2010), best known by his birth name, Peter Woodcock, was a Canadian serial killer and child rapist who gained notoriety for the brutal murders of three young children in Toronto, Canada in 1956 and 1957 when he himself was still a teenager. He was placed in a psychiatric facility and subsequently diagnosed as a psychopath. Expensive treatment programs for Woodcock proved ineffective when he murdered a fellow psychiatric patient in 1991; after his death in 2010, he was dubbed by the Toronto Star as "The serial killer they couldn't cure".
Life and crimes
Woodcock was born to a 17-year-old Peterborough factory worker who gave him up for adoption. He spent the first three years of his life in various foster homes; he was physically abused in at least one of those homes. He was later adopted by a wealthy family living near Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue, who paid for a private school education, therapy and bikes for Woodcock. When he reached puberty, he began to travel around Toronto on his bike, fantasizing about becoming a gang leader and, in reality, sexually assaulting children in Parkdale and Cabbagetown. Ultimately, Woodcock would brutally murder three young children in 1956 and 1957.
Woodcock was apprehended for the murders in 1957, found not guilty by reason of insanity, and placed in Oak Ridge, an Ontario psychiatric facility located in Penetanguishene. There, he legally changed his name. Following the completion of a treatment program for Woodcock and other psychopathic individuals, he was deemed greatly improved, and sent to a medium-security hospital in Brockville, Ontario in 1991. There, Woodcock claimed, he fell in love with fellow psychiatric patient Dennis Kerr, who rejected his sexual advances. During the first hour of his first weekend pass in 34 years, Woodcock stabbed Kerr to death. Woodcock was being supervised on the pass by Bruce Hamill, a former patient who had killed an elderly Ottawa woman in 1977. Hamill was an accomplice in the Brockville murder, and both men were subsequently returned to Oak Ridge. Woodcock told how the treatment program served only to make him more adept at manipulating others. Having spent 53 years in custody, the majority of that time at Oak Ridge, Woodcock died there on March 5, 2010, his 71st birthday.
- Wayne Mallette – seven-year-old boy lured into the deserted Toronto Exhibition grounds on September 15, 1956. Originally another teen, identified only as "Ronald Mowatt", was charged with the child's murder.
- Gary Morris – nine-year-old boy lured to Cherry Beach on October 6, 1956.
- Carole Voyce – four-year-old girl murdered by Woodcock on January 19, 1957 in a ravine under the Prince Edward Viaduct.
- Dennis Kerr – psychiatric inmate murdered on July 13, 1991 with a knife and hatchet by Peter Woodcock with the help of a former patient, Bruce Hamill.
- "The serial killer they couldn't cure dies behind bars". Toronto Star. March 9, 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
- Mind of a Murderer: Mask of Sanity. BBC. 2002. 38 minutes in: "In 1957, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and was sent to a secure mental hospital. He has since been diagnosed as a psychopath." (Overview at bbcactive.com).
- Mark Bourrie (1 November 1997). By reason of insanity: the David Michael Krueger story. Dundurn Press Ltd. ISBN 978-0-88882-196-6.
- Peter Woodcock at the Crime Library