1 min

Bruce McArthur, charged with two murders, dated missing man Skanda Navaratnam: source

Navaratnam was last seen leaving a bar in Toronto’s gay village in September 2010

Skanda Navaratnam was a popular and well-liked member of Toronto’s Church-Wellesley Village community. Credit: Skanda Nava/Facebook

Bruce McArthur, the man charged with the murders of Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman, once dated Skandaraj “Skanda” Navaratnam, a gay Toronto man who went missing in 2010, according to a source that spoke to Xtra.

Navaratnam, who was 40 when he was last seen, was the first of five gay men who went missing from around Toronto’s Church-Wellesley Village over the past eight years.

The police have not charged McArthur, 66, in connection with Navaratnam’s disappearance, but they have stated that they believe there may be more victims.

McArthur and Navaratnam were listed as friends on Facebook, before McArthur’s page was deactivated last week.

According to the source, who wished to remain anonymous, McArthur and Navaratnam began dating in 1999, around the time that Navaratnam’s partner was dying from complications related to an addiction.

Navaratnam was living in an apartment building on King Street West at the time, which was managed by his partner.

The source says McArthur was working in landscaping and didn’t seem like Navaratnam’s type, though he did often date older men.

“I was kind of taken aback that this was Skanda’s taste,” he says. “Because Skanda was such an attractive man.”

He characterizes Navaratnam’s relationship with McArthur as long-standing and not simply a fling.

Over the years he saw Navaratnam and McArthur together twice. But he recalls dropping Navaratnam off at McArthur’s Leaside property that is currently being searched by police, he says.

Navaratnam had a key, he says.

He says that he spoke one last time with Navaratnam about McArthur after the two had stopped seeing each other.

“He said he was afraid of him because he had a violent temper,” the source alleges.

Navaratnam didn’t like talking to the police, the source says, because of his history with security services in his native Sri Lanka, and didn’t want to get his immigration status in Canada revoked.

Navaratnam was last seen on Sept 6, 2010 leaving Zipperz, a now-closed gay bar in Church-Wellesley Village, with an unknown man.