Bruce McArthur, who grew up in Woodville, faces an eighth mur­der charge //

The Peterborough Examiner - - Front Page - PETER GOF­FIN, MICHELLE MCQUIGGE

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 that the self­em­ployed 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.

While he said po­lice in­tend to comb at least 70 prop­er­ties linked to McArthur in the com­ing months, Idsinga de­clined to say if in­vesti- gators ex­pect to un­earth fur­ther al­leged vic­tims.

“I think we’ve all seen in the me­dia so­called ex­perts who tell us that se­rial killers don’t start in their late 50s and their 60s,” Idsinga said. “But then again, if we lis­ten to these ex­perts, we’d be look­ing for a brown­skinned 35-year-old male, and that sim­ply isn’t the case, ob­vi­ously.”

Idsinga has pre­vi­ously said that in­ves­ti­ga­tors are ex­am­in­ing 15 un­solved homi­cides that took place be­tween 1975 and 1997. He said the vic­tims in those cases matched the gen­eral pro­file of the first seven al­leged vic­tims, but did not elab­o­rate.

He em­pha­sized, how­ever, that po­lice have not un­cov­ered any ev­i­dence to sug­gest that McArthur’s al­leged killing spree be­gan be­fore 2010, when Navarat­nam is be­lieved to have died.

Many of McArthur’s al­leged vic­tims were the sub­ject of two pre­vi­ous po­lice probes into the dis­ap­pear­ances of men from the city’s gay vil­lage.

The first probe — named Project Hous­ton — was launched in 2012 to in­ves­ti­gate the dis­ap­pear­ances of Faizi, Kay­han and Navarat­nam. It closed af­ter 18 months as it did not es­tab­lish the where­abouts of the miss­ing men or re­solve the cir­cum­stances of their dis­ap­pear­ances, po­lice said.

In Au­gust 2017, po­lice launched Project Prism, which looked into the dis­ap­pear­ances of Kins­man and Esen. McArthur came to the po­lice’s at­ten­tion in the fall of 2017 as part of that probe.


Toronto po­lice Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said Mon­day that Bruce McArthur faces an eighth mur­der charge.

Kirushna Kumar Kana­garat­nam

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