Vancouver
2 min

Break in Webster case

Police eye suspect in unsolved gay-bashing

WITNESS WANTED. Police say they need a witness to put Aaron Webster's killer behind bars. Credit: Xtra West files

Vancouver police say they know who killed Aaron Webster. Webster was brutally beaten to death in Stanley Park on Nov 17, 2001, near the popular gay cruising area of Lee’s Trail.



Police have always believed the murder to be a gay-bashing. But until now, they have had little to show for their year-long investigation-despite repeated assurances that they are still committed to solving the case.



Now that may be about to change.



“We know who is responsible for the death of Aaron Webster,” says homicide Det Rob Faoro. “There is no doubt in my mind that I have the right person.”



The problem is, police still don’t have enough evidence to arrest any suspects.



That’s where the community comes in.



Faoro says he knows there are witnesses out there because at least one person has called the Crime Stoppers tip line with bits of information in the last year. But the tips are not enough.



Police need witnesses if they are ever going to put Webster’s killers behind bars, Faoro says.



“But we’re not getting any assistance. It’s very, very frustrating.”



The homicide detective is crossing his fingers that people who were on, or near, the trails the night Webster was murdered will call him-especially now that he is so close to catching his killers. He is also hoping that people close to the suspects will listen to their consciences and call him, as well.



“They have got to come forward,” Faoro repeats in desperation. There won’t be any arrests unless some witnesses come forward now.



In the year since Webster’s death, many gays and lesbians have despaired that police will ever solve the most brutal gay-bashing Vancouver has ever seen. Some people have even accused the police of shelving the investigation. Faoro insists that nothing could be further from the truth.



“Trust me, it’s not shelved,” he says. “It’s definitely on-going. It’s very high on management’s agenda. I’m working on it on a daily basis.



“It consumes my life,” he says. “I lie in bed at night and think about it.”



Faoro says he has been working full-time on the Webster case for the last 14 months. “I’ve never been more stressed in my entire career. I don’t take holidays, I don’t go away.”



Anyone who comes forward now with information leading to the arrest of Webster’s killers will be eligible for the $21,850 reward collected by members of the gay community and the Vancouver Police Department last year.



INFO:

If you have any information on

Aaron Webster’s murder call

Det Rob Faoro at: 604.717.2519