Al­leged se­rial killer buried dis­mem­bered vic­tims’ re­mains in planter boxes

Journal Pioneer - - CANADA -

A self-em­ployed land­scaper now fac­ing five counts of first­de­gree mur­der dis­mem­bered some of his male vic­tims and buried their re­mains at the bot­tom of large planter boxes, Toronto po­lice al­leged Mon­day, call­ing him a se­rial killer. In­ves­ti­ga­tors warned that more vic­tims may yet be iden­ti­fied in what they called an un­prece­dented case in Canada’s largest city.

Speak­ing at a news con­fer­ence, Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said of­fi­cers had found dis­mem­bered skele­tal re­mains be­long­ing to at least three peo­ple in planter boxes at a home linked to Bruce McArthur, al­ready charged ear­lier this month with killing two men who had dis­ap­peared from the city’s gay vil­lage.

“We do be­lieve there are more (vic­tims). I have no idea how many more there are go­ing to be,’’ Idsinga said. “We’re in­ves­ti­gat­ing some 30 prop­er­ties. We be­lieve there are more re­mains at some of these prop­er­ties that we’re work­ing to re­cover.’’

Foren­sic experts have yet to iden­tify the re­mains, Idsinga said.

McArthur, 66, was ar­rested and charged Jan. 18 in the pre­sumed deaths of Se­lim Esen, 44, and 49-year-old An­drew Kins­man. He was fur­ther charged on Mon­day in the deaths of two miss­ing men — Ma­jeed Kay­han, 58, and Soroush Mah­mudi, 50 — as well as Dean Lisow­ick, 47, who had never been re­ported miss­ing.

Mah­mudi and Lisow­ick did not fit the pro­file of some of the other miss­ing men — Middle Eastern men known to fre­quent Toronto’s gay vil­lage area. “We know that many in the com­mu­nity are strug­gling to un­der­stand and process these de­vel­op­ments,’’ Idsinga said. “(But the in­ves­ti­ga­tion) cer­tainly en­com­passes more than the gay com­mu­nity. It en­com­passes the city of Toronto.’’ Po­lice had said McArthur had a long-term sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with Kins­man, but Idsinga re­fused to dis­cuss what if any re­la­tion­ship he might have had with the other vic­tims.

Po­lice had ini­tially shut down per­sis­tent ru­mours that a se­rial killer was prowl­ing the gay vil­lage, stress­ing that as re­cently as De­cem­ber, they did not know whether Esen’s and Kins­man’s dis­ap­pear­ances were linked or if the men were still alive.

“Ob­vi­ously, the city of Toronto has never seen any­thing like this. I’d call it an un­prece­dented type of in­ves­ti­ga­tion,’’ Idsinga said. “It’s an al­leged se­rial killer. He’s taken some steps to cover his tracks and we have to un­cover these vic­tims and iden­tify these vic­tims.’’

In­ves­ti­ga­tors were scour­ing prop­er­ties in the city where McArthur worked as a land­scaper. They said they were plan­ning to ex­ca­vate at two lo­ca­tions “where peo­ple might be buried,’’ but said they did not know what, if any­thing, they might find.

“You’ve got everything scat­tered at your feet that you have to un­cover and deal with,’’ Idsinga said.

Po­lice have in­ter­viewed McArthur, whom they said be­came a per­son of in­ter­est last Septem­ber, but re­fused to com­ment on what he might have told them. McArthur’s lawyer did not im­me­di­ately re­turn a call on Mon­day af­ter the ac­cused ap­peared briefly in court be­fore be­ing re­manded in cus­tody.

A woman who lives in a lowrise apart­ment build­ing be­side the house where the re­mains were re­cov­ered said McArthur was house-sit­ting for the owner and was of­ten seen gar­den­ing or lay­ing out plants in the drive­way. The woman, who asked not to be named, said she would of­ten see Mc­Carthur gar­den­ing or lay­ing out plants in the drive­way.

“It’s hor­ri­ble to think of this hap­pen­ing in any neigh­bour­hood,’’ she said.

A large army-style tent was set up in the back­yard of the house, with a power gen­er­a­tor run­ning.

Parker Lid­dle, who lives nearby, said he had seen McArthur come and go for years — some­times two or three vis­its per day.


A po­lice of­fi­cer is shown out­side a house on Mal­lory Cres­cent in Toronto, where Bruce McArthur did land­scape work, on Mon­day, Jan­uary 29 , 2018. McArthur, 66, was charged Jan. 18 in the pre­sumed deaths of Se­lim Esen and An­drew Kins­man. He was fur­ther charged on Mon­day in the deaths Ma­jeed Kay­han, 58, Soroush Mah­mudi, 50, and Dean Lisow­ick, 47.

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