Emanuel Jaques (1965 – 1977) was a shoeshine boy in Toronto, Ontario, whose sexual assault and murder shocked the city in August 1977.
Emanuel Jaques was the son of impoverished Portuguese immigrants from the Azores. On July 28, 1977, 12-year-old Jaques, who worked daily shining shoes on what was then the seedy Yonge Street Strip, was lured into an apartment above the Charlie's Angels body-rub parlour at 245 Yonge Street with the promise of $35 for help moving photographic equipment. He was then restrained and repeatedly sexually assaulted over a period of twelve hours before being strangled and drowned in a kitchen sink.
Several days after Jaques's disappearance, well-known Toronto gay activist George Hislop received a late-night call from Saul David Betesh, a sex worker who confessed to the murder and told Hislop that Jaques's body had been hidden under a pile of wood on the roof of the building at which he had been abducted. Hislop arranged for Betesh to hire a lawyer, contacted Metropolitan Toronto Police and then persuaded Betesh to turn himself in.
On a tipoff from Betesh, three other men — Robert Wayne Kribs (41), Joseph Woods (26) and Werner Gruener (28) — were arrested on the Super Continental train to Vancouver as it passed through Sioux Lookout Ontario. The three were employed as security doormen at Charlie's Angels. The four were charged with Jaques's murder. According to evidence introduced at trial, Betesh held the boy under water until he drowned while Kribs restrained Jaques's legs. In 1978, Kribs pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and a jury found Betesh guilty of the same charge, while Woods was convicted of second-degree murder, and Gruener, who had held open the door of the body-rub parlour to allow Betesh to bring the boy in, was acquitted.
Numerous protests and marches occurred, demanding that the city clean up the Yonge Street area. Alderman Ben Nobleman of York sent telegrams to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the media encouraging the return of capital punishment.
These protests became a catalyst for shutting down the numerous adult stores, body rub parlours, and shoeshine stands along Yonge Street. Over time, Yonge Street would become a more people-oriented district and new developments such as Dundas Square would revitalize the area.
In October 2002, twenty-five years after the murder, Robert Kribs was denied parole.
Woods died in prison in April 2003, after being denied parole four times. Kribs and Betesh remain incarcerated.