Volume 94, Issue 67

Tuesday, January 23, 2001


U of T prof found murdered at school

Social sciences score funding

UWO giving e-books a chance

Carleton strike looming

Health Canada survey says fewer smoking

Officer assaulted


Corroded Disorder

U of T prof found murdered at school

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

The University of Toronto was shaken early Friday morning by the discovery of fine art professor David Buller, 50, dead in his office – victim of an apparent homicide.

Friday morning, at 6:30 a.m., Buller's body was discovered, in his office, on the second floor of 1 Spadina Crescent by a caretaker. Buller had suffered multiple stab wounds to the chest, said Sgt. Robb Knapper of the Toronto Police Metro Homicide Division.

According to Knapper, Buller was last seen by witnesses at 1 p.m. Thursday and police are looking for anyone who may have seen Buller late Thursday evening or early Friday morning. A number of interviews have been conducted and all avenues are being pursued, he added.

Buller failed to show up for a scheduled class at 6 p.m., Thursday night, university officials confirmed.

The university released a statement Friday offering its condolences. "During this tragic time, our thoughts are with the family and friends of professor Buller," the statement read.

Susan Bloch-Nevitte, of the U of T public affairs office, said a crisis team of counsellors and police has been set up to deal with members of the university community who worked and studied with Buller. The building which housed Buller's office was closed throughout the weekend while the police continued their investigation, but it is expected to reopen today or tomorrow.

According to Buller's personal Web page at U of T, he graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1973 before earning his master of fine arts from Concordia University in 1985. His art exhibitions have been displayed across Canada and France and 16 of his paintings were rented to the production of The Kids In The Hall movie, Brain Candy.

His latest exhibition Strip is said to combine photography and painting into 'photopainting.' "At each stage of Strip there is a place or state that is fantastic or threatening or both. Homoerotic icons of leather and denim combine with playful male sexuality," the Web site described.

Andrea Zeifman, a fourth-year fine arts student at U of T and a former student of Buller's, said his students developed close relationships with him due to the relatively small sizes of his art classes. "Everyone got to know him really well, he was a very personable guy," she said. "Everyone really respected him and his role in the fine arts department. He really had a vision for the department."

His death, she said, has fuelled fear across the campus. "Of course there's a lot of fear. A lot of students are concerned about their safety on campus," she said. "It's becoming a rumour game, it's unfortunate."

Sarah Neville, a fourth-year arts and sciences student at U of T, said she knew Buller through a friend in the fine arts faculty. She said Buller was adored by his everyone who knew him. "If you met him, you couldn't really hate him."

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