Bruce McArthur prosecutors seeking life sentence for serial killer

Leroy Wright
February 8, 2019

Only the 2017 disappearance of Andrew Kinsman - the only man not to match McArthur's established ethnic or socioeconomic victim profile - triggered widespread attention.

According to police affidavits filed in court, investigators said Mr. McArthur became a suspect by early November, when the blood of his last victim, Andrew Kinsman, was found in his van.

They later charged McArthur for the murders of Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kanagaratnam.

McArthur sat motionless in the prisoner's box, just as he did Monday when court heard details about how he killed his victims and dismembered their bodies between 2010 and 2017.

Police recovered a USB key in his home with folders labeled Skanda, Bazir, Hamid, Number 4, Number 5, Slider, Turkish Guy, Andy, and John.

McArthur asked the victim to lie on the coat and instructed him to put an arm behind his back.

Officers knew to look for the vehicle by linking surveillance footage of the area outside Kinsman's home with video of the parking garage underneath McArthur's east Toronto apartment building - an address McArthur had divulged to police the previous year.

In his post-murder "rituals", McArthur posed his dead victims, photographing them as they lay naked on a fur coat or with an unlit cigar in their mouths and a rope around their necks. But when they are alone in their room, they take a picture of their father with them.

Most of McArthur's victims shared similar physical appearances, sporting facial hair or a beard and six were immigrants of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent.

The Crown argued for the eight sentences to be served over two consecutive terms, meaning McArthur would not be able to apply for parole until he had spent 50 years in prison - at which point he would be 116 years old.

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The macabre details emerged as the sentencing hearing began for the former gardener who preyed on men from Toronto's Gay Village district.

"For years, members of LGBTQ community believed they were being targeted by a killer", Cantlon told the court. He also held onto items belonging to them.

Ontario Superior Court of Justice/CPA photo of a bedroom of serial killer Bruce McArthur was released as a court exhibit at his sentencing hearing in Toronto Feb. 4, 2019.

McArthur, now 67, moved to the Toronto area in around 2000 and previously lived in a suburb where he was married, raised two children and worked as a travelling salesman of underwear and socks. Five years later, Peel Regional Police arrested the same man for unrelated sexual offences. "He was unable to swallow properly again for a week", Cantlon said.

McArthur was even arrested following the incident and investigated by police but ultimately he was set free without any charges.

McArthur also was convicted of assault 2003 after he hit a man on the head with a metal bar, but in 2013 he obtained a record suspension from the Parole Board of Canada. He was eventually named as one of the eight murder victims. The fact that McArthur revisited images and "trophies" from the killings shows a lack of shame or remorse, he argued.

"For us now to hear of such a disgusting death, we who live in this world as refugees feel like there is no safety for us anywhere in the world", he said in his victim impact statement.

An agreed statement of facts read in court said that on June 20, 2016, Mr. McArthur had invited an acquaintance to his van.

Ted Healey, a friend of Kinsman, said he took some satisfaction that McArthur owned up to his crimes.

"He created a macabre cemetery of his victims", Harper said.

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