Bruce McArthur faces eighth murder charge
Alleged victim from Sri Lanka
The complex investigation into alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur took another twist on Monday as Toronto police laid an eighth murder charge related to the death of a man who bucked the primary trend in the case.
Unlike McArthur’s other seven alleged victims, Toronto police said 37-year-old Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam is not believed to have had ties to the city’s LGBTQ community or a downtown neighbourhood known as the gay village.
Like most of the other men the self-employed landscaper is believed to have slain, however, Kanagaratnam’s remains were recovered from planters at a central Toronto home where McArthur once worked.
Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said Kanagaratnam’s death has potential to expand the investigation, which he has previously described as “unprecedented” in size and scope.
“This does create basically a wide-open net,” Idsinga said at a news conference. “We’ve had lots of international calls since our pleas began from people who just haven’t seen family members in years.”
Idsinga revealed few other details about Kanagaratnam other than to say he arrived in Canada from Sri Lanka in 2010, lived in the east Toronto suburb of Scarborough, and was never formally reported missing in Canada despite having distant relatives in the Greater Toronto Area.
He said the man was identified through help from an unnamed international agency as well as an unusual photograph police released last month.
The heavily edited image showing a bearded man who appeared to be dead was shared with the public as a “last resort,” Idsinga said, adding it prompted hundreds of tips to pour in to police.
Police had been concentrating on 22 potential identifications last week, but Kanagaratnam was not on the list, Idsinga said. He declined to say how the international agency contributed to the investigation or how Toronto police came by the photo in the first place.
McArthur, 66, was arrested in January and charged with the murders of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, who went missing from Toronto’s gay village in 2017.
Later that month, he was charged with the first-degree murder of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, and Dean Lisowick. In February, he was also charged in the death of Skandaraj Navaratnam.
The remains of all but Kayhan were found in planters at the home of one of McArthur’s landscaping clients, Idsinga said, adding Kayhan’s remains have yet to be identified.
Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam is pictured. Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur has been charged with an eighth count of first-degree murder. Police have identified the alleged victim as Kanagaratnam.