Toronto Serial Killer McArthur Will Never See Daylight Again

Geraldine Edwards
February 11, 2019

For friends and family of the eight men murdered by McArthur, the sentencing was the culmination of his guilty plea last week, and the arduous days in court that followed - listening to the horrifying details of how he killed his victims, and delivering victim impact statements.

McArthur, 67, will be 91 when his first chance at parole comes up.

Parole eligibility was the only question for Justice John McMahon to settle as first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence.

The prosecution had argued that 50 years is a measured number and would confirm for the families that they will never have to relive this again through a parole hearing.

McArthur also pleaded guilty to the first-degree murders of Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Dean Lisowick and Selim Esen. The remains of an eighth victim were later discovered in a ravine behind the same property.

All eight victims were gay and killed in Toronto's predominately gay neighborhood, known as "the Village".

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Justice John McMahon sentenced McArthur to life in prison for each of the eight counts.

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.

Police had faced criticism over their handling of the case, with an independent review being conducted into how missing persons cases are handled, after McArthur was able to conduct a seven year killing spree. "The trial would have traumatized many", the judge said.

Perhaps not. But any symbolic gesture that this man would never again see the light of day was thrown out the window.

Several members of the gay community told reporters outside the courthouse they were disappointed McArthur did not receive a harsher penalty, while others accepted that he would likely die behind bars.

A spokesman for Toronto Police said investigators had "worked diligently" to "do everything possible to locate the missing men".

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Andrew Kinsman, his final victim, had written "Bruce" in a calendar on the date of his disappearance. Numerous photos were taken after their deaths, with the bodies of six of them posed with a fur coat and props.

Two police investigations into the missing men returned no leads, even though McArthur's name came up during one investigation, and he was as a witness (not a suspect) during the later one.

When Toronto police first picked up McArthur, they found a man tied to his bed.

Criminal experts say it is unusual for someone to become a serial killer later in life, but the prosecution said there is no evidence of earlier murders.

"This is a crime of stark horror", prosecutor Michael Cantlon said in a statement after the sentencing.

Rae, the former city councillor, said the resistance to believing there could be a serial killer reflected the city's need to believe it was safe.

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September 2017 - Project Prism officers identify McArthur "as someone to be included or excluded as being involved in the disappearance of Andrew Kinsman".

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