Last update:
November 25th
2004

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A wonderful and loving person has been taken from us.

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Christopher Raynford Christopher Raynsford

1968
November 21, 2002

"He has not died in vain
because he has left us with a legacy
of love, compassion and gentleness."

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In loving memory of Christopher
Our dear son, brother and uncle, who was tragically taken from us on December 4th, 2002.

You are always in our minds,
No matter what we do.
All the time within our hearts
There are thoughts of you

Deep in the heart lies a picture
Of a loved one laid to rest.
In memory's frame we shall keep you
Because you were one of the best.

Wishing you were somehow here again
Wishing you were somehow near
Sometime is seems, if we could dream
Somehow you would be here
Wishing we could hear your voice again
Knowing we never will.

Chris, we miss and love you every day
Mum, Dad, Neil and Chelsea

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Chris was truly a unique individual with many hidden talents and skills. In fact, I think that Chris had so many talents and interests that he really wasn't sure what to do when he "grew up".

For example, I'm sure that Chris had aspirations to become a professional tour guide. I remember when we went to Jamaica on the OSCVI music trip; he very kindly organized an extra-curricular trip to a local tourist spot where their specialty was Jamaican rum - unbeknownst to the chaperons of course!

But then again, maybe what he really wanted to be was a Salvation Army Officer. You see I remember a certain wintery day in the late 80's when we were hanging out at the Corps and Chris decided to do his General Chris impression, complete with Army hat, pulpit and microphone. I'm just not sure either of us knew where the stuffed white unicorn he rode off on fit in. And yes, there are pictures!

Of course there was always the Christmas we thought he was going to become a carpenter. During the family gift exchange someone received a stud finder, and of course Chris was sure that he could find a use for it - somehow!

And now we find out that maybe what he really wanted to be was a Tupperware agent. Yes, Chris certainly was unique! But then he didn't really have a choice as he belonged to a very unique family. You see, within the Raynsford family there is never any doubt that you are loved 100% for who you are no matter what, and Chris knew that. Sure, there are times that we disagree and don't see eye to eye, but the depth of the love that each member of this family has for each other can never be questioned.

I will miss my cousin Chris for the rest of my life - but I will also be proud to keep his memory alive, because the world is a better place for him being in it. Don't cry because Chris is no longer with us he wouldn't want that smile because he was with us.

Mandy Raynsford

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Although police won't discuss the circumstances surrounding the man's murder, Raynsford's friends think he may have been attacked by someone he met through a dating service.

"He did also use what they call Cruiseline where he did meet other men and invited them over [and he would] try to screen the best he could in either Internet or telephone line. And obviously he made a couple of mistakes. The last one was his last." said his friend, Michael Fortier.

Fortier says Chris Raynsford was like a lot of gay men: to meet people, he went to Internet chat rooms and gay bars and used phone services. A month before his death, he made an unlucky match at www.gay.com. A man he invited home held him at knifepoint and demanded his possessions. Raynsford told his friend Fortier about it afterward.

"He told me, 'Michael, I was scared as hell.' He warned me, 'Just be careful,'" Fortier recalls.

Fortier says Raynsford didn't stop inviting strangers home after he was attacked, and he thinks it was one such stranger who killed him. Other men in Ottawa have also been attacked by men they met through dating services. The police are investigating seven assaults on men who met their attackers using a service called cruiseline.

"People need to be more cautious," says Cynthia Cousens, who heads the gay community's liaison committee with the Ottawa Police.

"Our best course of action would be to recommend that if somebody is meeting someone for the first time - using either the phone link service or the Internet - they take caution and take somebody they know, one of their friends, with them," Cousens says.

Fortier says Raynsford's description of the man who attacked him a month ago doesn't sound like the man police are looking for in the city's other recent assaults. But police say they're not ruling out a possible connection between the assaults and the recent killing.

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January 17, 2003

A 24 year old drifter picked up in connection with the brutal killing of an Ottawa man has been questioned and released. Police refuse to say if Sebastien Roy remains a suspect, or what his release means to the investigation into the murder of 34 year old Christopher Raynsford.

Roy was arrested by police in Quebec City Thursday, and questioned by major crimes detectives from Ottawa on Friday. Staff Sgt Randy Wisker told 365Gay.com that Roy was released Friday afternoon.

Earlier this week Roy was the subject of a continent wide manhunt. Ottawa police released a photograph of Roy, described as a hustler who never stayed in one place very long. Over the past year he has stayed in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.

Roy has a violent criminal record that includes at least one conviction in Quebec for extortion. In every city he visits he hangs out in gay neighborhoods preying on gay men.

Roy SebastienThe young man questioned and released by Ottawa police a week ago has now been charged with first degree murder in the killing of 34 year old Christopher Raynsford. Sébastien Roy, 24, was arrested in Quebec City. Roy was initially picked up last week for questioning in Quebec city following a transcontinental manhunt. But, after several hours of questioning police released him.

He is expected to appear in an Ottawa court today. Police will not say what led them to connect Roy with Raynsford. Friends of the dead man said shortly after the murder was discovered that Raynsford often met men in internet chat rooms and was often found in the Ottawa rooms of Gay.com

Crime lab investigators removed Raynsford's computer for examination but earlier this week the lead investigator in the case, Gerry Kinnear, would not say what was found on the computer's hard drive or if that information led them to identify Roy.

"New evidence surfaced in the past week that put us over the hump," Staff Sgt David Lengacher told 365Gay.com. Lengacher would not say what that evidence was except that it was sufficient to lay a first degree murder charge.

A drifter, Roy has a violent criminal record that includes at least one conviction in Quebec for extortion. In every city he visits he hangs out in gay neighborhoods preying on gay men investigators said.

Lengacher reiterated earlier statements in the case that the killing was not a hate crime, but he would not say what led investigators to that conclusion.

Sebastien Roy was taken into custody on January 9, 2003, at a Quebec City courthouse by an officer who recognized a picture Ottawa police had released a couple of days earlier. Ottawa police had not issued an arrest warrant and Roy was not charged. Police never called Roy a suspect, but rather "a person of interest," as he is believed to be one of the last people to see Raynsford alive.

An Ottawa man who says he hosted Roy at his apartment for three days prior to the murder before kicking him out says he's not sure what to think anymore. "It's one of two possibilities. Police don't have enough evidence to hold him, or he didn't do it, and if that is the case, there is still a murderer on the loose."

Meanwhile police have all but ruled out any connection between Raynsford's murder and the murder of a gay man in Kingston. Robert Earl LeClair, 39, was found in his Creighton St apartment less than a week before Raynsford's body was found. "I spoke with Kingston Police a short time ago. The only similarity is that both victims were openly gay. Aside from that, we have no other consistencies," says Wisker.

Christopher Raynsford's killer got 25 to life for 1st degree murder conviction on November 11 , 2006.

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"Chris was really loved by his friends, his theatre colleagues and the gay community"

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