Toronto has never seen anything like this.
That’s what police are saying about Bruce McArthur, who they now believe to be a serial killer, and who has been charged with the deaths of three more men.
In addition to being charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, McArthur is now facing three more counts in the deaths of Majeed “Hamid” Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi and Dean Lisowick.
“We do believe there are more and I have no idea how many more there are going to be,” Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga said at a press conference held at Toronto police headquarters on Jan 29, 2018.
Kayhan was one of the three men whose disappearance from the Church-Wellesley Village was investigated by police during Project Houston in 2012.
Mahmudi was reported missing by his family in Scarborough in August 2015. Lisowick, who stayed in shelters in Toronto, was never reported missing, but police believe he was murdered between May 2016 and July 2017.
Toronto police have also recovered three dismembered bodies hidden in large planters from a Leaside property where McArthur stored landscaping equipment; they are conducting DNA tests in an attempt to identify the victims. They’ve collected planters from other properties and are also looking to excavate at least two sites.
The five charges mean that McArthur is accused of being one of the most prolific serial killers in Toronto’s history. And the addition of Mahmudi and Lisowick as potential murder victims means that the investigation may go beyond the Church-Wellesley Village.
“The last two victims that we’ve identified don’t quite fit the profile of the earlier victims,” Idsinga says. “But it certainly encompasses more than the gay community — it encompasses the city of Toronto.”
McArthur has not been charged in connection to the disappearances of Skanda Navaratnam or Abdulbasir Faizi, who both went missing in 2010. Xtra recently reported that Navaratnam and McArthur previously dated.
The Globe and Mail has reported that McArthur and Kayhan also had a relationship.
Police continue to look into McArthur’s activities in what they are calling an “unprecedented” investigation that encompasses hundreds of officers and around 30 properties that McArthur worked on, in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario.
“We have contacted owners of these properties and have conducted searches at the majority of them,” Idsinga says.
Police are urging anyone who hired McArthur to contact them immediately.