Toronto police have charged alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur with an eighth murder, as investigators comb through cold cases looking for more possible victims.
Bruce McArthur was arrested on January 18 in connection with the disappearances of Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman, two men who went missing from Toronto’s local gay district the Gay Village.
Toronto homicide detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga said the 66-year-old landscape gardener had been charged with the first-degree murder of an eighth man, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam.
The 37-year-old Sri Lankan had no family in Canada, had not been reported missing and unlike other victims had no known ties to Canada’s gay community, the Associated Press reported.
McArthur is now facing eight charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of Esen, Kinsman, and Kanagaratnam, as well as Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Majeed Kayhan, Abdulbasir Faizi and Skandaraj Navaratnam.
Police allege McArthur targeted men through gay dating apps, often meeting them in the Gay Village neighbourhood.
The man is accused of dismembering his victims and burying their remains in large flower planters on his work clients’ properties.
Kinsman’s disappearance in June last year sparked the launch of a police taskforce investigating a possible link between a string of disappearances in the area since 2010.
“We do believe there are more and I have no idea how many more there are going to be,” homicide detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga said in January.
Local LGBTIQ advocates have voiced concerns about the police response to fears that the village’s gay population was being targeted.
“That a serial killer went undetected for years, raises critical questions about vulnerabilities and the intersection of vulnerabilities that many members of our community experience,” the village’s community centre, The 519, said in a statement in January.
Police have said their investigation is “unprecedented” in scope, with investigators searching numerous properties McArthur worked on and examining missing persons cases dating back to 1975, when McArthur would have been in his twenties.
“I’ve got no evidence to say he’s linked to any of the cases, but bearing in mind the number of people we’re alleging he’s killed, we’re going to take a close look at some outstanding cold cases from the Gay Village in Toronto,” lead homicide detective Hank Idsinga told the Toronto Star earlier this month.