Bruce McArthur, 66, the alleged serial killer charged with the deaths of six men, has been linked to a seventh victim. Toronto police announced at a press conference on March 5, 2018 that they discovered human remains in a garden planter in the same Leaside neighborhood where the other sets of remains were found.
Police investigating Bruce McArthur confirmed they found a set of unidentified remains in a garden planter on the same Mallory Crescent property where six other sets were found, also in large planters. Police also released a photograph of this seventh victim, hoping someone in the public can help identify him.
More charges are expected to be laid. Lead investigator Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga previously said that around 20 planters were seized from properties across Toronto as part of the investigation.
So far, police have only been able to confirm the identity of three of the six victims: Soroush Mahmudi, 50, Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40.
McArthur is also charged in the deaths of Selim Esen, 44, Majeed Kayhan, 58, and Dean Lisowick, either 43 or 44.
All of the victims had ties to Toronto’s Gay Village.
Police have not revealed how they think McArthur allegedly killed these men, but they believe he acted alone.
Police Found Sixth Victim Linked to Bruce McArthur on Same Property
The March 5 announcement comes just 10 days after Toronto police charged McArthur with a sixth count of murder. On February 23, Idsinga said a dental analysis allowed police to identify the sixth victim, Navaratnam.
Navaratnam was reported missing in 2010 after last being seen leaving Zipperz, a now-shuttered nightclub in the heart of Toronto’s Gay Village, on September 6, 2010.
Navaratnam, also known as “Skanda” to friends, began a romantic relationship with McArthur in the early 2000s. Kevin Nash, a friend of Navaratnam, said Navaratnam also worked for McArthur’s landscaping business.
His brother, Navaseelan told CBC via Facebook, “He was a very fun loving person and always with a smile and we miss him dearly.”
In addition to the Leaside property, Toronto police visited at least 30 other properties in the city where McArthur was known to have worked.
According to Idsinga, “It is getting bigger, and we are getting more resources as we go along, so it is going to be a very, very extensive investigation.”
Idsinga noted that there are a number of murder scenes linked to the case; McArthur’s apartment in the Thorncliffe Park neighborhood of Toronto is one of them.
Remains of All Seven Bodies Located on Same Mallory Crescent Property
The remains of all seven bodies have been recovered from the same address on Mallory Crescent. Toronto police initially showed up at the property on January 18, 2018 when they served a search warrant, forcing homeowners Karen Fraser and Ron Smith to leave while they processed the property.
Police used ground-penetrating radar and canine units to identify areas on the property where the ground had been disturbed. They then set up a large tent with heaters to thaw the frozen earth.
Police also dug up a drain pipe at 53 Mallory Crescent to ensure no evidence had been disposed of in the drain.
It is expected that Toronto police will return to the home in the spring and excavate other areas once the ground thaws.
Bruce McArthur, a self-employed landscaper, did work at the Mallory Crescent property and stored his equipment there in exchange for his services.
Kevin Lahey, a next-door neighbor, said he saw McArthur in the area hundreds of times. He said McArthur drove a red van and used to come by the property quite often in the summer.
“He would come three or four times a day,” Lahey said.
Lahey said he would try to chat up McArthur, but his attempts were always ignored.
Stephen Haskett, another neighbor, used to see McArthur tending the lawn and storing plants.
“You’d like to think, ‘Not in my backyard,’ but that’s not true,” he said. “The place is swarming with cops and the news. It’s a quiet little cul-de-sac. It’s all just very strange.”
On January 18, McArthur was charged with the murders of Kinsman and Esen. Both men went missing from Toronto’s Gay Village in 2017.
On January 29, McArthur was charged with the first-degree murders of Kayhan, Mahmudi, and Lisowick.
Project Prism Put McArthur on Police Radar
Toronto police have not said how long they have been watching McArthur. But Project Prism may give some indication.
Project Prison was the name Toronto police gave to the investigation that was launched in July 2017 to look into the disappearances of Kinsman and Esen.
In the fall of 2017, Toronto investigators went to Dom’s Auto Parts in Courtice, just outside Oshawa, with a vehicle identification number (VIN).
Police began poring over surveillance video of Bruce McArthur selling his old maroon Dodge Caravan to the parts shop. Police seized the vehicle and had it towed from the yard.
“As I understand it, this van was a fairly big part of them putting the puzzle together,” said Dominic Vetere, owner of Dom’s Auto Parts.
Company employee Harry Cribb said McArthur showed up at Dom’s Auto Parts on September 16, 2017.
“He was very calm, just like a normal guy,” Cribb said. “There was nothing out of the ordinary about him at all. He didn’t look like he was worried, upset, nothing.”
But Cribb said one thing did stand out: McArthur accepted the first price he was offered—$125.00. Cribb said people usually barter for a better deal.
Unlike many auto parts businesses, Dom’s keeps a record of VINs. Less than two weeks later, police showed up looking for a specific VIN and found the van. The rusted-out van was mostly intact, save for a few parts, including the battery and wheels.
Investigators took DNA samples from the mechanic who handled McArthur’s van and left.
Perhaps it was this information that helped police intercept McArthur on January 19, 2018, when he reportedly entered an auto wrecking yard with a vehicle that had blood in the trunk. The blood evidence was used to get a search warrant for McArthur’s Thorncliffe Park apartment, according to an unnamed source.
Investigators on Project Prism shared information with those who were working on a separate but parallel project on missing men from the same area dubbed Project Houston.
Project Houston was launched in November 2012 and examined the disappearances of three men who frequented the Gay Village from 2010 to 2012.
Role of DNA in McArthur’s 2003 Assault Charges
Police have not commented on how DNA evidence linked back to McArthur. However, in 2003, McArthur was ordered to provide a DNA sample after he was found guilty of two separate assault charges.
On April 11, 2003, McArthur received a conditional sentence of two years less a day plus three years’ probation for one count of assault causing bodily harm and one count of assault with a weapon.
He was prohibited from owning a weapon for 10 years and ordered to not purchase, possess, or consume drugs, in particular amyl nitrates, or “poppers.”
As part of McArthur’s conditional sentence, he was barred from the city’s Gay Village and from spending time with male prostitutes. He was also ordered to seek counseling, including anger management.
Todd McArthur, Son of Bruce McArthur, Also Known to Police
Todd McArthur, the 37-year old son of Bruce, appeared in an Oshawa, Canada courthouse on February 8, 2018 on unrelated charges. Outside the courtroom, he said, “We’ve been through enough. We’re also victims.”
Todd is facing charges of breach of probation, making indecent telecommunications, and criminal harassment.
Todd has a long history of making indecent phone calls to women he doesn’t know, starting in his teen years. Since then, he has been charged dozens of times for harassment and making indecent phone calls.
In 2014, he was handed a 14-month sentence after he admitted to making obscene phone calls to a stranger at her workplace. He repeatedly made references to nude photos of her, made sexually suggestive comments, and asked her if she was wearing panties.
Todd’s lawyer told the court his client was diagnosed with “telephone scatalogia” and has been in treatment for at least 10 to 15 years.
Todd, meanwhile, said his condition is linked to depression and could be a result of his first sexual experience, an explicit phone conversation he had with an older woman when he was 11 or 12 years old.
Timeline of McArthur’s Alleged Victims
September 2017 – Toronto police identify Bruce McArthur, 66, as a suspect in the disappearance of Kinsman.
January 18, 2018 – McArthur is charged with first-degree murder for the deaths of Kinsman and Esen.
January 29 – McArthur is charged with three more counts of murder in connection to the deaths of Kayhan, Mahmudi, and Lisowick.
February 8 – Police confirm that the remains of six people have been found on the Mallory Crescent property. One set of remains is identified as those of Kinsman.
Authorities believe there are more victims and will re-examine hundreds of missing person cases and look into properties where McArthur worked.
February 23 – McArthur is charged with another count of murder for the death of Navaratnam.
March 5 – A seventh set of remains found at 53 Mallory Crescent is linked to McArthur.