HUNTER: Teenage boy killed in Fort Erie Airbnb finally buried

Christine Crooks was one of two young women shot dead at a notorious Fort Erie Airbnb on January 2, 2021.

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For more than 18 agonizing months, Christine Crooks was in heartbreaking limbo.

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It took her embattled family and the courts all this time to decide that yes, it was time to say goodbye.

The 18-year-old was one of two young women shot dead at a notorious Fort Erie Airbnb on January 2, 2021.

Cops say that snowy night, Toronto strangers threw a wild COVID-defying birthday party at the rustic property along the Niagara Parkway.

By 4 a.m., Crooks and Juliana Pannunzio, 20, of Windsor, were dead. Their bodies left among the detritus of a derailed party.

Juliana Pannunzio, 20, of Windsor, pictured, was shot dead with Christina Cross, 18, of Toronto, at a party house in Fort Erie in 2021.
Juliana Pannunzio, 20, of Windsor, pictured, was shot dead with Christina Cross, 18, of Toronto, at a party house in Fort Erie in 2021. Photo by HANDOUT /GOFUNDME

Ferrol Crooks, Christina’s father, told the Toronto Sun that the service was held Thursday in the York Chapel of the Turner and Porter Funeral Home on Bloor Street W.

The burial took place afterwards.

The father remains bitter – not just about his daughter’s tragic death, but the way her arrangements were handled.

“I am his father and I had to be invited to the service. His father, ”said an anguished Ferrol Crooks before the service. “I have to give my child closure, I need to cry and have closure.

“Instead, I had to go with an invitation, to bury my own daughter.”

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The Fort Erie Party Palace where two women were murdered in January 2021.
The Fort Erie Party Palace where two women were murdered in January 2021. RESERVATIONS.COM

The murder of Christine Crooks was the tragic coda to a troubled and difficult life.

Ferrol Crooks admittedly wasn’t around for much of his daughter’s childhood, but said he tried to make it up when she was a teenager.

He never married the little girl’s brilliant mother and she moved to Germany in 2015, leaving her daughter behind at 13.

From then on, Christine shared a large part of her young life between that of her grandmother and the care of social services.

According to a judge’s order, provided to The Sun, the parents and grandmother could not agree on Christine’s final resting place. Grandmother wanted her buried in the family plot, Ferrol Crooks wanted her buried next to one of his sons.

Christine Crooks, 18, was one of two young women murdered in January 2021 in Fort Erie.
Christine Crooks, 18, was one of two young women murdered in January 2021 in Fort Erie. Photo by HANDOUT /FAMILY

Court documents indicate friction between the trio, but the judge added: “Having said that, I have no doubt that all three loved Christine and they are still mourning their tragic loss.”

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But while noting Ferrol Crooks’ efforts to get involved in his daughter’s troubled life, the judge found a closer connection to her mother’s family.

The stage was set for tragedy when Christine was in CAS custody from September 2015 to April 2019. Her grandmother obviously offered the young girl a place to stay for varying lengths of time.

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Before her death, the struggling teenager texted her grandmother: “Thank you for all you do oma, I appreciate you so much and love you and I don’t know what I would do without you .”

In the end, the judge agreed with Grandma as to Christine’s final resting place.

Ferrol Crooks said he received less than 24 hours’ notice of Thursday’s service.

And what about the tragic Christine Crooks?

Perhaps if the passions sparked by his death had been at play during his short and tragic life, those words might have been moot.

[email protected]

@HunterTOSun

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