Halton police get to rack up another “cold case” that now proceeds to trial after police arrest and return suspect to Burlington.


Halton Regional Police advise that HRPS homicide detectives arrested the accused in Banff, Alberta and escorted Jan Goro back to Ontario.  The R.C.M.P. and O.P.P. did provide investigative assistance. There are many intricacies associated with any homicide investigation, particularly those that go unsolved for an extended period of time.  A great deal of work is still to be undertaken in this case and members of the homicide unit remain committed to securing a conviction.   

  By Pepper Parr

Burlington, on. April 24, 2013

As cold  cases go – this was pretty frigid but by keeping the file open Det/Sergeant, John Mans,  head of the homicide  with the Halton Regional Police Service was able on April 23, 2013.to see the arrest of Jan GORO (66 yrs) in Banff, Alberta for the murder of Donald McAvella which took place on April 26, 1976  – 37 years ago.  Det/Sergeant was probably at police college at the time.

The lifeless body of 54-year-old Donald Ross McAvella was discovered in his Burlington apartment.  Mr. McAvella died as a result of being stabbed multiple times.

Witnesses told police they overheard an argument occurring between two individuals in McAvella’s apartment in the early hours of the morning, and following a series of screams, observed a man leaving.  Investigators believed the man who left did so in a taxi destined for Hamilton.

Numerous interviews were conducted, physical evidence was collected and analyzed, and the case remained unsolved. 


News photo published in 1976 of murdered Donald Ross McAvella.  Case solved based on December 2012 information.

In December 2012, as a result of a further review of the case and information coming to light, investigators arrested Jan GORO (66 yrs) in Banff, Alberta, on  April 23, 2013 for the murder of Donald McAvella.

GORO was escorted back to Ontario and appeared in Milton Court on April 24, 2013 facing a charge of Second Degree Murder.  This was 37 years to the day of the murder of Mr. McAvella.   GORO was remanded to this Friday, April 26 at 9:30 a.m.

D/Sergeant Mans spends the bulk of his time on Fraud – which is more than enough to keep him busy in this city.  Homicide is a rare instance but this case shows that they do eventually get their man.  

A spokesperson for the family stated they are relieved that a person has been arrested in connection with the murder

Halton police Chief Steve Tanner acknowledged the investigative assistance provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ‘K’ Division and the Ontario Provincial Police Behavioural Sciences Unit which helped lead to an arrest in this case.

If you have information that would assist in any homicide investigation you are asked to contact the Halton Regional Police Service Homicide Unit at 905 825-4747 x8760, Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS (8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting ‘Tip201’ with your message to 274637(crimes).

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