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Killer "Suddenly" Confesses Four Decades After Shocking Canadian Murders of Two Women

New breakthroughs in genetic genealogy, combined with investigative work, finally revealed who was behind the Toronto murders of Erin Gilmour and Susan Tice.

By Jill Sederstrom
Dateline: Evil Walked Through The Door

Decades after two Canadian women were brutally murdered, their surprising killer was tracked down after breakthroughs in genetic genealogy and “old-fashioned detective work” finally cracked the case, according to Dateline.

How to Watch

Watch Dateline on NBC and Peacock

A new episode of the newsmagazine — titled “Evil Walked Through The Door" and airing Friday, April 19 at 9/8c p.m. — will follow the 40-year quest for justice for victims Erin Gilmour and Susan Tice. 

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As the episode's official synopsis explains: “The separate murders of two women in Toronto ignite an investigation that spans four decades, taking detectives from the big city to a remote, northern town. The case is finally cracked when diligent old-fashioned detective work is combined with modern breakthroughs in genetic genealogy.”

What happened to Erin Gilmour?

Gilmour was just 22 when she was found dead in her apartment in December of 1983. “There was blood everywhere,” Det. Andrew Doyle said in a chilling preview clip of the episode. 

Her shocking death continues to haunt her loved ones, including relative Kristin Basso. “I still have dreams of wishing I could have been there to have helped,” she said. 

Erin Gilmour, Dateline: Evil Walked Through The Door

What helped solve the murders of Erin Gilmour and Susan Tice?

For decades, the cases went cold until new advances in DNA technology helped detectives take a fresh look at the killings — and led to a surprising suspect. 

“A decades-long investigation would lead to the middle of nowhere. To a father, friend, solid citizen,” Dateline correspondent Josh Mankiewicz revealed in the preview. 

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Mankiewicz told NBC Insider that the most surprising aspect of the case for him, was when the suspect suddenly claimed responsibility for the killings. 

“After evading detection and capture for 40 years, no one expected a murderer to suddenly confess,” he said. 

Along with Doyle and Basso, the two-hour episode also features new interviews with Det. Stephen Smith, Det. James Atkinson, Sean McCowan, Ben Tice and Vanessa Vansittart. 

Ben is one of the children of Susan Tice, who was 45 when she was killed in August of 1983.

Mankiewicz told NBC Insider that he hopes the story demonstrates the power that scientific advancements can have on helping to solve difficult cases. 

“Changes in DNA analysis are going to solve a lot of previously cold cases, and that’s going to finally bring answers to a lot of families,” he said. 

Susan Tice featured on Dateline: Evil Walked Through The Door

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As for the most challenging aspect of the story, Mankiewicz told NBC Insider that it was mostly geographic. 

“This story ended in a tiny Canadian town that’s close to the Arctic Circle. Just getting there to cover the story (and getting back) was one of the more difficult trips I’ve ever made at Dateline,” he shared. 

To find out more about how the double homicide investigation plays out, tune in to Dateline Friday, April 19, at 9/8c p.m. on NBC or stream it the next day on Peacock

And for even more Dateline, sign up for the show's official newsletter and check out its podcast.

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