A suspected serial killer in Canada who is believed to have preyed on the LGBT community has been charged over an additional three murders as police search for more victims.
Bruce McArthur, 66, a self-employed landscaper, was charged earlier this month with two counts of first-degree murder over the deaths of Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Selim Esen, 44.
Now, he’s been charged with three more counts of first-degree murder over the deaths of Majeed Kayhan, 58, Soroush Marmudi, 50, and Dean Lisowick, 47, after police found dismembered human remains hidden in planters at properties where he worked as a landscaper.
Kinsman, Esen and Kayhan were all known to spend time in Toronto‘s Gay Village neighbourhood. Police say McArthur had a “long-term sexual” relationship with Kinsman, but did not reveal any links with other suspected victims.
Toronto’s LGBT community has been raising concerns for months over a series of disappearances around the Village. Esen and Kinsman disappeared in April and June 2017 respectively, while Marmudi was reported missing by his family in 2015. Kayhan went missing in 2012, and while Lisowick lived in homeless shelters in Toronto and was never reported missing, it is believed he was murdered between May 2016 and July 2017.
Police had attempted to calm community fears that they were being preyed upon by a serial killer. Now, they in the midst of an “unprecedented” full-scale investigation that expands across the city.
“We do believe there are more [victims] and I have no idea how many more there are going to be,” said police detective Hank Idsinga. “We’re investigating some 30 properties. We believe there are more remains at some of these properties that we’re working to recover.”
Over a dozen further planters have been seized from addresses across the city, with McArthur’s landscaping clients not yet contacted by police to reach out. There are also plans to excavate a further two sites.
Toronto LGBT community body The 519 has raised concerns as to how this alleged serial killer managed to prey on the queer community for years undetected.
“The 519 extends heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi and Dean Lisowick – and offers strength to the families of all those still missing,” it said in a statement this morning.
“As the horror of this tragedy unfolds, the need to elevated some important conversations increases.
“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 – homophobia and transphobia combined with vulnerabilities of racism, poverty or homelessness.
“Protected the most marginalised and vulnerable – whether it is by instituting the same standards of justice, or by having the same level of public interest that demands accountability – is imperative and urgent.”