News / Toronto

Friends of Bruce McArthur 'beyond shocked' by 2 murder charges

Bruce McArthur, 66, has been charged with first-degree murder in the disappearance of Selim Esen, 44, and Andrew Kinsman, 49.

Bruce McArthur, identified by friends, was arrested on Thursday morning.

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Bruce McArthur, identified by friends, was arrested on Thursday morning.

Friends of 66-year-old Bruce McArthur were left shocked and speechless to learn the Toronto man is facing two charges of first-degree murder after the disappearances of two men.

McArthur, a self-employed landscaper who lives in Thorncliffe Park, was arrested by police at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

A friend of McArthur’s from Lindsay, Ont. immediately began sobbing when confronted by the news.

“No!” said Marion Clark Luchies, “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it, she said, stifling sharp gasps. “I’m just flabbergasted is all I can say. I have nothing to say. I’m just flabbergasted, that’s all.”

“I’m just absolutely shocked, beyond shocked.”

Luchies attended Fenelon Falls Secondary School, located in the Kawartha Lakes, of which McArthur is also an alumnus, according to his social media.

McArthur’s Facebook account offers a glimpse into his life, which appears to be filled with family get-togethers and time out in the city’s gay community.

But a closer look at his friends list reveals he also appears to be connected with missing man Skandaraj “Skanda” Navaratnam.

Navaratnam went missing in Sept. 2010. He and two others, Abdulbasir “Basir” Faizi, and Majeed “Hamid” Kayhan — all middle-aged and members of the Church and Wellesley area community — disappeared between mid-2010 and late 2012.

The disappearances of these three men are being investigated by police through Project Houston. Information in that investigation was referenced by police in relation to McArthur’s charges, police said in a Thursday afternoon press conference.

None of the men have been found, although police are looking for links between the Project Houston disappearances and those of Selim Esen, 44, and Andrew Kinsman, 49, for which McArthur is facing charges.

In many other photos on Facebook, McArthur is shown dressed as Santa and posing with families, suggesting he worked as a mall Santa.

In 2016, he posted a photo of three York Regional Police officers on Wellesley St. during the Toronto Pride Parade. He’s shown attending a number of the city’s arts and sports venues, including Roy Thompson Hall and a Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre.

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