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Windsor, Ont., police say media pressure led to releasing a name in 1971 killing of 6-year-old Ljubica Topic

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WARNING: This article contains details of sexual assault and may affect those who have experienced​ ​​​it or know someone affected by it. 

Windsor, Ont., police say a new chief and pressure from local media were factors in finally releasing the name of the man they say killed Ljubica Topic after she was abducted over 50 years ago.

Topic was six years old when she was playing outside her family’s home on Drouillard Road on May 14, 1971, and a stranger lured her with a promise of money. She was later found dead — abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered — near an alley a kilometre away from her home.

Police said in 2015 that they’d discovered new DNA evidence — two of Ljubica’s teeth and one adult tooth — close to where her body had been discovered. In December 2019, investigators said they’d found the man responsible, but didn’t say who it was.

Ljubica Topic was six years old when she was abducted from outside her home in Windsor, Ont., in 1971. She was later found dead — abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered — near an alley a kilometre away from her home. Windsor police this week released the name of the man they say killed the child. (CBC News)

On Wednesday, they finally provided a name — Frank Arthur Hall, who died in Edmonton in February 2019 at age 70.

Police said Hall was 22 when the little girl was killed, and had been living under two kilometres down the street in the 1800 block of Drouillard Road.

Const. Bianca Jackson told CBC News on Thursday that a Freedom of Information Act request from the Windsor Star was a factor in finally releasing the name. So was a change in police leadership — Jason Bellaire was named as new permanent chief in November.

“It’s definitely fair to give credit to the Windsor Star,” Jackson said.

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Also, “with our new leadership, we examined and ultimately came to a decision to make that change.”

CBC News filed a similar request in 2020 and again in December 2022. Both were denied and one was in the process of being appealed.

Windsor police denied the information, saying deceased individuals have privacy rights for 30 years after death, releasing the name would be an unjustified invasion of privacy, and because he’s deceased, he no longer poses a threat to public safety.

“This individual was never arrested, charged or convicted of this crime and is now deceased,” police said in January 2020.

Jackson said police an “an internal discussion that led to a reversal to a decision that was made quite some time ago.”

A photo of a young Frank Arthur Hall with dark hair and a tattoo on his arm, and a photo of an older Hall with white hair posing in a kitchen
Police released images of Frank Hall, who they say killed Ljubica Topic. He was living in Windsor at the time, in 1971. Hall died in Edmonton in 2019 at age 70. (Windsor Police Service)

Bellaire said in a Wednesday media release that “we are committed to operating with full transparency and serving the interests of the people of Windsor and Amherstburg.”

“We hope this decision meets the public’s need for knowledge and offers the opportunity for members of the community to provide further information that may assist with other investigations.”

Michael Arntfield, professor of criminology at Western University in London, questioned why it took such lengths for this information to become public.

“Naturally, this is information that the public has a bona fide interest,” he said.

He said releasing the name could have value in other cases.

“Child sexual murderers, inevitably in most circumstances, are involved in serial crimes, not necessarily serial homicides,” he said. “By releasing this information, it recognizes that reality and that there may be other victims out there, other cases that may be able to be linked.”

The case has attracted national interest over the years. It was reopened six times since the 1970s, with hundreds of tips from across Canada and the U.S.

There have been more than 500 persons of interest over the years.

Valerie Potter of Owosso, Mich., lived in the neighbourhood at the time Ljubica was killed and remembers the search. She said she’s happy there is “peace and resolution” for the family.

“I thought this day was never going to come.”

She said she didn’t believe it was fair that police didn’t release the man’s name at the time they revealed the case was solved.

Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. ​​If you’re in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911. 

With files from Dale Molnar

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Trump's social media suggests a campaign scrambling from Biden leaving 2024 race – ABC News

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Trump’s social media suggests a campaign scrambling from Biden leaving 2024 race  ABC News

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Ryan Reynolds Jokes About Taylor Swift’s Astronomical Babysitting Rates

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Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are a Hollywood power couple with four adorable children. But juggling busy careers and a growing family can be a challenge, even for A-listers. Enter their close friend, pop icon Taylor Swift, who, according to Reynolds, might be their go-to babysitter. However, her services come with a hefty price tag (at least according to Reynolds‘ playful exaggeration).

During a recent E! News interview promoting their upcoming movie “Deadpool & Wolverine,” Hugh Jackman playfully suggested that Swift was the real nanny for Reynolds and Lively’s four children. This lighthearted jab sparked a humorous response from Reynolds.

Known for his sharp wit, Reynolds responded to Jackman’s comment with a hilarious quip. He stated that the cost of having Taylor Swift babysit would be “cost-prohibitive,” implying that her rates would be astronomically high. He even playfully added, “But I think what he meant was, ‘Cost-insane-what-are-you-doing-I’m-no-longer-you’re-accountant.'”

Reynolds and Lively, who tied the knot in 2012, share four children: James (9), Inez (7), Betty (4), and a one-year-old whose name and gender remain private. The couple has maintained a close friendship with Swift over the years. This strong bond is evident in their recent attendance at a stop of her Eras Tour in Spain, along with their three eldest children.

Swift’s friendship with the Reynolds family extends beyond casual hangouts. During the concert in Spain, she gave a heartwarming shout-out to the couple’s daughters. While introducing her album “Folklore,” she mentioned the names James, Inez, and Betty, sending the audience into a frenzy. This sweet gesture further highlights the special bond between the singer and the Reynolds children.

This isn’t the first time Swift has incorporated the girls’ names into her music.  Her 2020 album “Folklore” features a song titled “Betty” that tells a story of a love triangle involving characters named James, Inez, and Betty. Additionally, her 2017 album “Reputation” included a voice recording of James on the song “Gorgeous.”

Whether Swift truly babysits for the Reynolds family or not remains a playful mystery. However, one thing is certain: the singer holds a special place in the hearts of the Reynolds children and their parents.

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The Simmering Feud Between Eva Mendes and Rachel McAdams

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The 2004 romantic drama “The Notebook” continues to be a pop culture phenomenon, captivating audiences with its passionate love story between Noah and Allie, played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. But beyond the on-screen romance, rumours of tension between the actors and Gosling’s current partner, Eva Mendes, have added a layer of intrigue to the film’s legacy.

 

From Clashing Personalities to Real-Life Romance

While their undeniable on-screen chemistry led to a blockbuster performance, Gosling and McAdams reportedly had a tumultuous time during filming. “We inspired the worst in each other,” Gosling admitted to The Guardian. However, their initial animosity blossomed into a real-life romance in 2005, sending shivers down the spines of fans who had rooted for Noah and Allie.

 

Love Found, Love Lost

Their off-screen love story, however, wasn’t a fairytale. After two years, the couple went their separate ways. McAdams found happiness and a family with screenwriter Jamie Linden, while Gosling met his current partner, Eva Mendes, on the set of “The Place Beyond the Pines” in 2011. Together, they have built a life and share two daughters.

 

A Post-Breakup Conundrum: Maintaining a Friendship

While McAdams and Gosling’s romantic flame fizzled out, reports suggest they remained amicable post-breakup.  This friendly dynamic, however, is said to have shifted when Mendes entered the picture.

 

A Shadow of Jealousy? Unconfirmed Rumors of Tension

Unverified reports claim that Mendes is allegedly uncomfortable with McAdams being around Gosling.  Unnamed sources allege that Mendes discourages any interaction between the former co-stars, fearing it might upset her. This has reportedly limited Gosling’s ability to maintain a casual friendship with McAdams.

The validity of these claims remains shrouded in mystery.  Mendes and Gosling are known for their privacy, making it difficult to separate truth from speculation.

 

 

Beyond the Rumors: The Power of “The Notebook” Endures

While the rumors of off-screen tension add another chapter to the “The Notebook” narrative, the film’s enduring power lies in its timeless portrayal of love and loss. Whether Gosling and McAdams remained friends or not doesn’t diminish the on-screen magic they created. The film’s ability to resonate with audiences continues, reminding us of the intensity of first love, the pain of heartbreak, and the enduring power of memories.

The Notebook’s legacy is a complex one, weaving together a captivating on-screen love story, rumored off-screen tension, and a reminder of the film’s lasting impact on pop culture.

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