London News & Search
For years, the overgrown bushes and weed-choked lawn at 56 Duchess Ave. frustrated neighbours.
The unkempt property, located in the heart of London’s trendy Wortley Village, sometimes drew the attention of bylaw officials.
But Samuel Maloney, the enigmatic homeowner who lived there with his common-law wife Melissa Facciolo and their two young children, refused to maintain the yard.
The single-storey house has sat vacant since Maloney — a computer programmer who had a deep distrust of government and was rarely seen outside his home — was killed two days before Christmas during a police raid after a crossbow was fired at an officer.
In recent weeks, however, Facciolo has occasionally returned to the Old South home, neighbours say, and hired someone to clean up the property.
Three large shrubs were cut down in the front yard and garbage was removed from the property, prompting speculation on the block that Facciolo is preparing to return to the red-brick bungalow, or sell the property.
Facciolo, who faces weapons and drug charges following the Dec. 23 raid, next appears in court on Friday.
Maloney’s death led to a Free Press investigation that revealed the 35-year-old had secretly lived a double life as a freshman at Western University, where he told classmates he was 21. He also had a long history of run-ins with police.
Facciolo has been living with her father in Newmarket since she was released on bail.
Property records show a lien for $2,260 was placed against the Old South house on Feb. 7 by Holstead and Redmond, a London-based surveying company.
Maloney, who bought the home for $186,000 in 2004, is still listed as the owner, the documents show. Mortgage companies won’t provide financing until all outstanding liens have been paid off.
Maloney’s father Peter said his daughter-in-law in struggling financially because police seized her work equipment.
Prior to the deadly raid, Facciolo ran a successful graphic design business, Citris Design Studio, out of her home. A website for the company, established in 2000, is no longer active.
“They seized her computers,” the elder Maloney said.
Facciolo was initially charged with possession of a weapon and ammunition while prohibited — related to the crossbow — and spent Christmas in jail.
Weeks later, police laid additional charges of possession of a prohibited weapon, obstructing a police officer and four counts of drug possession against Facciolo.
Investigators seized a knife, 407 grams of marijuana, 21 grams of cannabis resin, 94 grams of magic mushrooms and 553 tablets of LSD from the Duchess Avenue home, police said.
Under her bail conditions, Facciolo is required to not possess any weapons and to stay in Ontario.
Facciolo’s lawyer, Phil Millar, had to remove himself from the case after the crown brought forward a potential conflict of interest. Maloney had called Nick Cake, a lawyer at Millar’s practice, during the raid. Cake said he heard a man shouting and a woman screaming during the call before four shots rang out.
London lawyer Jeff Conway is now representing Facciolo.
Facciolo couldn’t be reached for comment.
Neighbours on Duchess Avenue said they’d be happy to see Facciolo return to the house and move on with her life. Though residents on the street had grown increasingly suspicious of Maloney, Facciolo was well liked in the neighbourhood.
Maloney’s extensive online postings focused on immigration, racial mixing and so-called white genocide.
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit is probing his death — London’s first fatal police shooting in 17 years. The investigation is ongoing, an SIU spokesperson said, offering no other details.
The case, involving three subject officers and 18 witness officers, has stretched on for 215 days. Last year, it took SIU investigators 110.8 days on average to close a case.
Maloney’s father, who lives in St. Thomas, said his family has been kept in the dark about the investigation.
“They don’t tell us anything,” he said.
London News & Search