Prosecutors in the court case of Bruce McArthur have revealed chilling details of what the serial killer did with his victims following their deaths. This included shaving their bodies, putting cigars in their mouths, and posing them for photos.
The landscape gardener, 67, who picked up men via dating apps or from in and around Toronto’s gay village, last week pleaded guilty to murdering eight men. They died between 2010 and summer 2017.
Yesterday, at a sentencing hearing in a court in Toronto, prosecutors revealed further details about the case. This included details of evidence that led to McArthur’s arrest and his subsequent prosecution.
Photographing his victims
McArthur was arrested in January 2018 and charged with the murders of two men. Police said they had been watching him for several months as part of their ongoing investigations into the disappearances of several gay/bi men from around Toronto’s gay village.
At the time of his arrest, no bodies had been recovered. However, police said they had evidence so convincing that they felt confident in charging McArthur.
Subsequent investigations revealed body parts buried in planters where McArthur had worked as a gardener. Police later charged him with the murders of eight men.
In court yesterday, prosecutor Michael Cantlon revealed that McArthur took photos of six of his victims after their deaths.
‘Victims were posed naked, with cigars in their mouth, shaved, and/or made to wear a fur coat and hat,’ said Cantlon.
McArthur kept some of the hair he shaved from their bodies, along with other items.
Police find man handcuffed in McArthur’s bedroom
Police arrested McArthur following surveillance. They decided to intervene when they saw a man enter McArthur’s residence. Fearing for his safety, they burst into McArthur’s home.
They found the man, naked and handcuffed, in McArthur’s bedroom.
They also found a USB drive in McArthur’s possession. A directory on the drive was split into nine folders: Eight folders for the men he killed and the ninth for the man found alive at the time of arrest. Prosecutors did not reveal any of the photos during the hearing.
Police attention turned to McArthur following the disappearance of Andrew Kinsman in June 2017. Kinsman had known McArthur for around a decade. On a calendar belonging to Kinsman, he marked the name ‘Bruce’ on 26 June 2017; the day he disappeared.
CCTV footage later showed Kinsman getting into a red Dodge Caravan belonging to McArthur.
Police later found the vehicle in a wreck yard. Traces of blood and semen belonging to Kinsman were found inside.
Kinsman was a community campaigner and well known around Toronto’s gay village. His disappearance led to friends and acquaintances undertaking searches for his body. They also lobbied the police to do more to discover what had happened to Kinsman.
Prior to this, McArthur’s crimes had largely gone unnoticed. Some of his victims led closeted lives and their deaths had not been linked to their sexuality of possible relationships with McArthur.
Despite rumors and speculation among the local LGBTI community, police stated in late 2017 that they had no evidence linking the disappearance of several men from the village. That was before McArthur’s arrest.
McArthur relocated to the Toronto area in around 2000. Following his arrest, details emerged of previous convictions. He was found guilty of assault in 2003 after hitting a man on the head with a metal bar. Then, in 2016 he was arrested again for assault after he attempted to strangle a man he had known.
Murders and sentencing
Besides Kinsman, McArthur’s victims are named as Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kanagaratnam.
McArthur is expected to be sentenced later this week.