Bruce McArthur, the Toronto landscaper arrested and charged with the murder of two gay men near the city’s gay village last week, has been charged with 1st degree murder in the deaths of three more men: Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Marmudi, and Dean Lisowisk.
McArthur has already been charged in the killings of Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Selim Esen, 42, two gay men who went missing last year near a downtown neighborhood known as the center of the city’s LGBTQ community.
There may be more victims.
Toronto police announced the new charges in a press conference this morning. They also said it is safe to say that McArthur can now be referred to as a “serial killer.”
Dismembered remains of at least three individuals have been recovered from McArthur’s backyard.
The police are asking people in the Toronto area who have had landscaping work done by McArthur to come forward so police can search their yards.
Towleroad’s Michael Fitzgerald reported on the cases earlier this year:
In August, Toronto police voiced concerns that the disappearance of Esen and Kinsman from the city’s gay village could be linked to three other men who have not been seen for more than five years.
In a press release issued in August, Toronto police confirmed that they were investigating whether the two missing persons cases are connected.
Vice reported that the latest cases bear a striking resemblance to the disappearance of three men from the village between 2010 and 2012.
Detective Sergeant Michael Richmond noted in the press release that while “some members of the community and media have made a connection between the disappearance of Mr. Kinsman and that of 11 other males,” that line of inquiry was factually incorrect and “quite misleading.” However, police admitted that they are concerned about possible links to the 2010-2012 cases. All three of those men were in their 40s or early 50s, were Arab or East Asian, and frequented the same venues on Church Street in the village.
There are reasons to suspect that the cases are merely an eerie coincidence. Kinsman is white, meaning he doesn’t quite fit the profile established by the first three men to disappear.. The five year gap between when the last man when missing, in 2012, and these two cases also suggests that, while they may be suspicious, the causes of these disappearances are unrelated.
Yet there are similarities. Esen fits the profile to a T. Of the five cases, all are of similar age, build, and all have facial hair.
Even more strangely, a hypothesis floated by an internet sleuth on an online message board some four years ago also rings true: All of the disappearances have been around holiday weekends. Kinsman, over Pride. Esen, over Easter. The previous three cases: Labour Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving.
Amid fears over the summer that police weren’t taking these cases seriously, Richmond said the investigation into Kinsman’s disappearance was in the process of “ramping up,” and police were getting set to conduct another search of his apartment.