Precisely 10 years ago today, 15-year-old Sharmini Anandavel (inset) left her Toronto, Ontario, apartment, telling her parents she had a new job to go to. Four months later, Sharmini’s skeletal remains were found scattered in a ravine about two kilometres from her home. Her murder has never been solved. But police have always had a good suspect, convicted stalker Stanley Tippett, who is back behind bars. A detective who spent a year trying to solve Sharmini’s murder says Tippett was never “eliminated” as the possible killer.
(UPDATED June 2011: Tippett was convicted of seven charges after he kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl in July 2011. He was expected to face a dangerous offender hearing, a rare criminal procedure that could see him sentenced to an indefinite term in prison because he is so dangerous.)
(2ND UPDATE: In a court decision dated October 2011, Tippett was declared a dangerous offender, meaning he could be kept behind bars forever. He planned to appeal the decision (full Peterborough Examiner story on his plan to appeal is appended to bottom of this post.) In the DO decision, the court declared that Tippett had showed a pattern of escalating violent behaviour, was a chronic liar and could not be trusted to tell the truth to doctors and likely would not take sex-drive reducing drugs. One of two psychiatrists who examined Tippett for the dangerous offender hearing, offered this conclusion: “Dr. Gojer reported that Mr. Tippett has a personality disorder with antisocial traits. The defendant’s personality is based on deceit, lying, manipulative behaviours leading to aggressive and intrusive behaviours including sexually aggressive acts. Mr. Tippett seeks attention, affection and sexual gratification.”)
This story by Rob Lamberti appeared in August 2008 in the Toronto Sun, after Tippett (inset left) was arrested and charged with abducting and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Peterborough girl:
Retired Toronto cop Jim Crowley remembers the wooded scene where the remains of 15-year-old Sharmini Anandavel were discovered nine years ago. Her skull and bone fragments were found scattered over almost a hectare of a wooded ravine in Don East Parklands four months after she vanished in June 1999.
“It was … terrible,” he said. “I felt so bad for the family. They are a lovely, lovely family. It was awful. It was not a pretty sight.”
Stanley Tippett was the prime suspect then, and now that he is in custody in Peterborough accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, the former homicide cop who was in charge of the 33 Division detective office when Sharmini disappeared says the unsolved murder case should be reopened.
“Oh, absolutely,” he said Thursday. “I mean, everything was eliminated and he was not eliminated … there was an awful lot of circumstances that would not totally eliminate Tippett.”
Tippett was a neighbour of Sharmini’s family and had been interviewed three times by the homicide team of Matt Crone and Greg McLane.
Toronto homicide squad Det.-Sgt. Peter Callaghan said the unit has offered to help the Peterborough and Durham detectives in their investigation, but stopped short of saying whether Tippett is being looked at again in Sharmini’s death.
“It hasn’t changed anything in our investigation at this point in time, unless we receive some new information,” Callaghan said.
Tippett was acquainted with the murder victim, Crowley said.
“He lived in the same building and he had spoken to her a few times, and was offering her, as I recall, jobs, and he had an application form which I think she had filled out,” Crowley said.
Sharmini, a student at Woodbine Junior High School who loved Smarties and mango juice, disappeared after she had contacted a man who asked her to fill out a job application for a job with the non-existent “Metro Search Unit.”
Tippett has acknowledged previously that he knew Sharmini and helped her get a job. He said he gave her rides to a swimming pool. Tippett is expected to be tried in August 2009 for the abduction and assault. Since his arrest and his court appearances began in Peterborough, things have taken a bizarre turn. His wife appeared in court as well as another woman claiming to be his pregnant fiance. Tippett’s mother Susan Anderson also has appeared in court. She told reporters she doesn’t believe her son’s story of having been abducted the day he was charged with snatching the 12-year-old Peterborough girl:
It makes me stick to my stomach. He needs professional help. There is something wrong with him, he’s not normal.
The Toronto Star has been covering Stanley Tippett’s criminal exploits for the past decade:
- 2008: Tippett, accused in Peterborough abduction, a convicted ‘predator’
- 2005: Stalker Tippett sentenced to two years in prison
- 1999: Tippett’s life ‘hell’ since Sharmini’s disappearance (story no longer online), but Star carried this report in 2008. Full text of story below.
As usual, netizens have hunted down more on Tippett, including this post about a Facebook profile on the Los Angeles, California network. As often happens in these cases, there’s also a Tippett lynch mob group on Facebook.
The complete story on Tippett’s plan to appeal his designation as a dangerous offender:
January 12, 2012
By Sam Pazzano/QMI Agency
TORONTO – A Peterborough sexual predator who kidnapped and sexually assaulted an intoxicated 12-year-old girl is appealing his dangerous offender designation and indefinite sentence at the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Court documents argue Mr. Justice Bruce Glass – who declared the 35-year-old Stanley Tippett a dangerous offender on Halloween – erred in his ruling, “failing to address the frailties of identification evidence,” and “misapprehending evidence” in convicting Tippett.
The judge’s reasons for judgment were inadequate and insufficient, stated his appeal filed by Toronto defence lawyer James Lockyer.
The appeal is urging Ontario’s highest court to either acquit Tippett or order a new trial or, if the convictions are upheld, then impose a definite sentence instead of the current indefinite one.
Glass ruled that Tippett must be locked up permanently because he “is likely in the future to demonstrate an inability to control his sexual impulses.
“Tippett is a substantial risk to the community and will continue to be so,” said Glass, alluding to his history of escalating violent offences.
Dr. Julian Gojer, who conducted phallometric testing on Tippett, said he has a sexual preference for prepubescent males and females and pubescent females.
“His personality is based on deceit, lying and manipulative behaviours leading to aggressive and intrusive behaviours including sexually aggressive acts,” stated Glass. The psychiatrist said Tippett exhibited a personality disorder with anti-social traits but thought after a five-year prison term, he could be then released into a half-way house and receive sex-drive reducing drugs for 10 years and safely integrated into the community, opined Gojer. The judge disagreed.
Tippett, a liar and manipulator, can’t be trusted to voluntarily accept counselling and medication so locking him up is the only way to protect the public, Glass said.
In his judgment, Glass chronicled Tippett’s history of anti-social behaviour, from the time he set his teacher’s desk on fire in public school, to the violent gunpoint robbery of a 16-year-old girl – possibly to sexually assault her – through to his latest crimes, the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 12-year-old Peterborough girl in August 2008.
In the gunpoint attempted robbery involving the teen, Tippett stalked his prey as she exited a Toronto bus. Glass noted Tippett came up behind her, put his arm around her wait and put a gun to her head. He ordered her to lie down in an alley – without ever indicating verbally that he wanted her money, Glass said.
“One can logically infer that Mr. Tippett intended to sexually assault this girl,” concluded the judge.
She lied that she had AIDS and was menstruating to deter him from raping her. She defied his order not to scream and then escaped, court heard.
In his latest crime, Tippett isolated the vulnerable victim and drove her to a wooded area in Courtice so he could evade detection, said Glass.
Tippett picked up the vulnerable victim plus her friend in his van on a Peterborough street. Tippett dropped off the friend, lying to her that he was taking her friend to a hospital.
Instead, he drove her to a wooded area beside a school in the community of Courtice. Police rescued the girl, who was crying for help and was naked from the waist down and had mud on her buttocks, Glass said. She had no idea she wasn’t in Peterborough
“He took advantage of a child who was so under the influence . that she couldn’t make any decision about even entering his motor vehicle,” said the judge.
Full text of 2008 Toronto Star story:
By Daniel Dale Staff reporter, Published on Thu Aug 07 2008Sharmini Anandavel disappeared on June 12, 1999.
The intelligent and popular 15-year-old vanished after leaving home on a Saturday morning to start a job that police later learned did not exist.
According to witnesses, Sharmini walked two blocks from her Don Mills Rd.- Sheppard Ave. E. apartment to Fairview Mall, then to a nearby plaza.
She was never seen alive again.
As police searched for her, they focused their investigation on Stanley Tippett, following and repeatedly questioning him.
Tippett, then an Oshawa resident, said he had driven past Sharmini’s apartment that morning, then had been at Fairview at the same time as her, then went to a gas station near where Sharmini had told her parents she was going to work.
But he said he had nothing to do with her disappearance, having last seen her weeks earlier.
He said he had never offered her the office job she thought she was travelling to, only an application for employment at a pool.
Police never laid charges against him – or anyone else.
In October 1999, hikers found skeletal remains in a Don East Parklands ravine.
Police recovered only a mandible and skull, and they identified Sharmini through dental records.
Police implied the absence of forensic evidence was the reason they made no arrest.