Gord Lewis, founding guitarist of the iconic punk rock band Teenage Head, is believed to be the city’s latest homicide victim, allegedly killed by his own son inside his Hamilton apartment sometime last week.
Hamilton police responded to Gord’s apartment at 175 Catharine St. S. around noon Sunday, Aug. 7. Inside the unit, they found the body of a man in his 60s with “injuries consistent with foul play,” Det. Sgt. Sara Beck, of the homicide unit, said at a news conference outside police headquarters Monday afternoon.
Gord’s 41-year-old son, Jonathan Lewis, was arrested shortly after police arrived at the apartment building. He is charged with second-degree murder.
Police say they believe they know the identity of the murder victim and the Lewis family has been informed. However, due to the state of decomposition of his body, further testing is needed for official identification. That’s expected to happen following the autopsy.
One of Lewis’s brothers, Brian Lewis, told The Spectator that the family has no comment at this time.
“We ask that you respect our privacy at this time,” he said.
The body was discovered by police during a wellness check, which was prompted by a 911 call from a staff member at The Spectator.
Multiple reporters and media outlets were sent a string of messages from two email accounts with the name Jonathan Lewis that began around 8 p.m. on Saturday and continued into late morning Sunday.
The messages included complaints about needing help for medical issues, but also include multiple references to his father being dead.
One email sent Saturday night included: “Now I just want to get help for my sickness and give my Dad a proper burial. He didn’t deserve this.”
On Sunday, shortly before 11 a.m., another email included: “Funeral people need to get here quick. My Dad is starting to decay.”
It was the latter email that prompted The Spectator to call police out of concern for Gord’s safety.
Beck said police are supporting the family.
The Catharine Street South apartment belonged to Gord, but his son had been staying there for an unknown amount of time.
Beck said the exact time of death is not clear, but police believe it likely happened about two to three days before the body was discovered.
She described it as an “isolated incident” and said there are no other suspects.
Mental health is believed to be a factor in the murder, but Beck said it’s not clear to what extent.
Police said there will be a continued presence at the 11-storey, roughly 90-unit apartment building on Catharine near Charlton Avenue East. A police van could be seen parked outside the highrise entrance Monday morning. The entrance remains open to tenants.
Beck said the investigation is concentrated on the single apartment unit. It’s expected police will be there for several days processing the scene.
It is too early to know if a weapon was involved and whether any weapons were left in the apartment. Police continue to canvass the building for witnesses and video.
This marks the third homicide of the year in Hamilton.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Det. Frank De Vuono at 905-546-3827.
To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or crimestoppershamilton.com.
Nicole O’Reilly is a crime and justice reporter at The Spectator. email@example.com