Walking the beat: Two ex-cops launch Toronto Crime Tours
Cops fighting crime is nothing new in Toronto.
What about two retired Toronto Police detectives conducting walking crime tours of Canada’s biggest city?
Now that’s “a first,” according to former officers Bob Moynagh and Phil Hibbeln, who founded Toronto Crime Tours.
“We knew that we had a really unique niche,” said Moynagh. “This is literally the only crime tour in Canada presented by retired detectives. Just having that insight, I liken it to going on a bakery tour with a baker. We know what we’re talking about because, at quite a few of these stops, we’re telling our own stories.”
Moynagh, 57, retired in 2019 after 31 years on the job, while Hibbeln, 59, left the force as a 30-year veteran in 2018.
They’ve started three different two-hour walking crime tours — downtown, west end, and east end — back in June.
They told the Toronto Sun they’ll soon introduce an hour-long tour — The Danforth — which will include the mass shooting by Faisal Hussain, who killed two people and wounded 13 others during a rampage in the Danforth-Logan Aves. area on July 22, 2018.
“It was after I retired that I got this idea in my head,” said Moynagh. “I just want to present a unique view on Toronto’s evolution and our past and our present. Thus was born Toronto Crime Tours. And I pitched it to Phil, and he said, ‘That sounds like fun, let’s do this!’”
Moynagh and Hibbeln first met as young officers in the late ‘80s in North York’s 32 Division and remained friends during their careers.
Hibbeln was a sex assault and fraud investigator while Moynagh investigated sex assaults, child abuse, and frauds.
They worked on some of the crimes incorporated in their tours: Both were on duty for the G20 riots and Moynagh helped investigate the PATH murder in which a 28-year-old woman was fatally stabbed. Another woman, Rohinie Bisesar, was found not criminally responsible for the crime.
Other notorious cases covered include serial killer Bruce McArthur, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of eight men.
“Everybody knows about Bruce McArthur,” said Hibbeln.
“Here was another example of how the police could have done a little bit more, but they didn’t. The gay community said, ‘There is a serial killer,’ and finally the arrest was made, and the gay community said, ‘We told you so.’ That was a bit of an embarrassment for the police and as a result of that they formed a special missing persons unit.”