Video: Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur charged with three more counts of murder
Toronto 'has never seen anything like this,' Detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga told reporters Monday. McArthur, 66, is now facing murder charges in the deaths of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi and Dean Lisowick.
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Calling their ongoing investigation “unprecedented,” Toronto police announced Monday that accused serial killer Bruce McArthur is facing three additional counts of first degree murder — a revelation that brings his alleged deadly toll to five homicides.
Saying Toronto “has never seen anything like this,” Detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga told reporters Monday that McArthur, a 66-year-old landscaper, is now facing murder charges in the deaths of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi and Dean Lisowick.
“It’s a serial killer, alleged serial killer and he’s taken some steps to cover his tracks and we have to uncover these victims and identify these victims and hopefully get some… closing news to the families of these victims,” Idsinga told a news conference.
McArthur was arrested on Jan. 18 and initially charged with two counts of first-degree murder in relation to Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, who were the subjects of an ongoing investigation launched in August called Project Prism.
Lisowick was never reported missing to police, and is thought to have been part of Toronto’s shelter system. Investigators believe he was murdered between May 2016 and July 2017. He would’ve been 47-years-old at the time of his death.
Mahmudi was 50-years-old when he was reported missing by his family in Scarborough in August 2015.
Kayhan was reported missing in October 2012, and was one of the subjects of an investigation entitled Project Houston, which was active between 2010 and 2012. Project Houston probed the disappearances of Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, and Kayhan, all of whom frequented the Gay Village, and all of whom went missing between 2010 and 2012.
Police would not comment on the specifics of the evidence they found that linked McArthur to the three additional victims.
So far, police have revealed McArthur had a sexual relationship with Kinsman, though it’s unknown if he had one with Esen. Neither man’s body is reported to have been found.
Three victims have links to Toronto’s Gay Village, though two of the victims identified Monday “don’t quite fit the profile” of previous victims, Idsinga said. “It encompasses more than the gay community. It encompasses the City of Toronto.”
“We do believe there are more,” Idsinga said. “We have no idea how many more there are going to be.” Police have stated since the time of McArthur’s arrest that they believe he is linked to more victims.
Idsinga told reporters that the remains from “at least” three victims were found at the bottom of large flower planters, which were located on properties linked to McArthur. Police have obtained over a dozen planters from around the city.
Idsinga requested that any homeowners that have previously contracted McArthur as a landscaper to contact them, so that police may search their properties. Investigators have access to McArthur’s client list and have been canvassing properties that have employed him.
Police have already identified 30 properties linked to McArthur, and “have conducted searches at the majority of them,” Idsinga said. Police believe there are more remains at some of these properties, and are actively working to uncover more.
A grim-faced McArthur made a brief appearance at the College Park courthouse Monday morning.
Wearing grey pants and a navy jersey, McArthur’s voice cracked slightly when asked to state his name.
He was remanded in custody and ordered to appear again, by video, on Feb. 14, a date already set at his last appearance. He was represented in court by a member of Toronto defence lawyer Ted Royle’s firm.
Speaking to reporters Monday, Toronto mayor John Tory said he thought the ongoing investigation “will bring comfort to people who are very worried about this whole series of events, across the city, and in particular in the LGBTQ community.”
“And I’m trusting that the police are doing what they’ve been doing for weeks and months now, which is continuing their investigation as aggressively and competently as they do, and that they will have further news to report,” he said.
With files from Victoria Gibson, Alex Mckeen, Betsy Powell, Ben Spurr and Alexandra Jones