Serial killer Bruce McArthur sentenced to life in prison

Erika Holt
February 11, 2019

Serial killer Bruce McArthur will be eligible to apply for parole after spending at least 25 years in prison for the murders of eight men in Toronto, a judge ordered on Friday.

"I remember seeing Bruce McArthur sitting outside Starbucks".

The victims include Selim Esen, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnama, and Abdulbasir Faizi. Court heard he kept those images in folders on his computer labelled for each of his victims, accessing some of those photographs long after the killings.

He also considered McArthur's decision to plead guilty - saving friends and family of the victims, as well as the community and a jury, the gruesome details of a four-month trial. "The law is clear: a guilty plea is a mitigating factor". The second factor is the age of accused when he could apply for parole, " McMahon said.

This "horrific" case, one man said, has left the close-knit Toronto gay community gripped by "despair and fear". "It's not enough for the families, it's not enough for the lives lost and it's so not enough for the community", she said. "I do not see him in a public setting ever again", Saunders added. "In this case, life will mean life at the end".

He killed and dismembered the men between 2010 and 2017, and allegedly hid seven of the corpses in planters and the eighth in a ravine.

"This was not a case of police didn't think anything was going on", Saunders said while speaking to reporters alongside Det. "We knew something stunk and we did everything we could to find it".

He sited the USB found with the sub file titled with the names of McArthur's victims and containing photos of them, both alive and dead, as something done "no doubt for his own perverted sexual gratification".

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"Some of his victims were recent immigrants from other countries. and they were also part of an LGBT community that is not always a community that elicits prompt and thorough responses from police when somebody goes missing", he said.

They learned McArthur was stopped when police raided his home, finding a man tied to a bed. "Although there can be no closure from a harm of this magnitude, we hope that these eight convictions for first-degree murder will assist our community in beginning a new chapter of healing". "Many met or corresponded with Mr McArthur through dating apps", said Cantlon.

Earlier this week, Karen McCrimmon, parliamentary secretary to the minister of public safety, said the proposed changes "present one avenue" for helping victims in these cases, and that government would closely monitor the views of other MPs as the bill continues to be debated. All went missing between 2010 and 2017.

There is now an independent review of how police treat missing persons cases, after outcry over how McArthur was able to kill undetected for seven years.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said McArthur's victims should "never be forgotten".

Some of the victims' friends and family members were too overwhelmed by emotion to read their sentencing statements to the judge, and prosecutors took over.

Going off that lead, police eventually placed McArthur under recurring surveillance and gathered sufficient evidence to arrest him on January 18, 2018, when officers saw him bring a Middle Eastern man into his east Toronto apartment complex - a man they subsequently found naked and handcuffed to McArthur's bed.

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