Bruce McArthur faces 8th murder charge; alleged victim from Sri Lanka

TORONTO – The complex investigation into alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur took another twist on Monday as Toronto police laid an eighth murder charge related to the death of a man who bucked the primary trend in the case.

Unlike McArthur’s other seven alleged victims, Toronto police said 37-year-old Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam is not believed to have had ties to the city’s LGBTQ community or a downtown neighbourhood known as the gay village.

Kanagaratnam arrived in Toronto from Sri Lanka in 2010 and police believe he died some time between September and December 2015, at age 37. Police have said he was never reported missing and unlike McArthurs other alleged victims, Kanagaratnam had no clear ties to the LGBTQ community. Police said an unnamed international agency helped identify Kanagaratnam after investigators released a heavily edited photo of a dead man in a plea for public help.

Like most of the other men the self-employed landscaper is believed to have slain, however, Kanagaratnam’s remains were recovered from planters at a central Toronto home where McArthur once worked.

The 49-year-old from Toronto was reported missing from the gay village in late June 2017. Kinsman was a subject of Project Prism, and police have said he had a sexual relationship with McArthur. Kinsmans sisters said they searched for their brother for six months before police eventually charged McArthur in his death. Karen Coles said he was “well-known in his community and “loved by all.

Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga said Kanagaratnam’s death has potential to expand the investigation, which he has previously described as “unprecedented” in size and scope.

Faizis family reported him missing to Peel Regional Police on Dec. 29, 2010. Investigators say the 42-year-old was last seen in Torontos gay village. His vehicle was found near the home of one of McArthurs landscaping clients, where police allege McArthur left the dismembered remains of several victims in planters. Faizis disappearance was also investigated as part of Project Houston.

Bruce McArthur charged with 1st-degree murder of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam

“This does create basically a wide-open net,” Idsinga said at a news conference. “We’ve had lots of international calls since our pleas began from people who just haven’t seen family members in years.”

The 58-year-old Toronto man was reported missing in October 2012. Police investigated his death as part of Project Houston, which ran from November 2012 to April 2014 and probed the disappearances of three men who went missing from Torontos gay village. The probe was closed after yielding neither suspects nor leads on what happened to the men.

Alleged Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur charged with 8th count of 1st-degree murder

Idsinga revealed few other details about Kanagaratnam other than to say he arrived in Canada from Sri Lanka in 2010, lived in the east Toronto suburb of Scarborough, and was never formally reported missing in Canada despite having distant relatives in the Greater Toronto Area.

He said the man was identified through help from an unnamed international agency as well as an unusual photograph police released last month.

Video: Eighth murder charge laid against Bruce McArthur

The heavily edited image showing a bearded man who appeared to be dead was shared with the public as a “last resort,” Idsinga said, adding it prompted hundreds of tips to pour in to police.

Police had been concentrating on 22 potential identifications last week, but Kanagaratnam was not on the list, Idsinga said. He declined to say how the international agency contributed to the investigation or how Toronto police came by the photo in the first place.

TORONTO — Here is a glance at the alleged victims of Bruce McArthur, a 66-year-old Toronto landscaper charged with eight counts of first-degree murder:

McArthur, 66, was arrested in January and charged with the murders of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen, who went missing from Toronto’s gay village in 2017.

The 40-year-old went missing in September 2010 and his disappearance was investigated as part of Project Houston.

Later that month, he was charged with the first-degree murder of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, and Dean Lisowick. In February, he was also charged in the death of Skandaraj Navaratnam.

Video: Bruce McArthur charged with 8th murder count

The remains of all but Kayhan were found in planters at the home of one of McArthur’s landscaping clients, Idsinga said, adding Kayhan’s remains have yet to be identified.

Mr. Kanagaratnam is the male depicted in the previously released John Doe photograph, Idsinga said. The identification was confirmed with the assistance from an international government agency, he said but would not offer further details.

While he said police intend to comb at least 70 properties linked to McArthur in the coming months, Idsinga declined to say if investigators expect to unearth further alleged victims.

Kanagaratnams remains were recovered from garden planters at a home in central Toronto where McArthur kept his landscaping equipment. Police had previously identified the remains of six other victims in those planters.

Video: Alleged Canadian Serial Killer Bruce McArthur Charged With 8th Murder

Alleged potted-plant serial killer hit with 8th murder charge as police ID man in photo

“I think we’ve all seen in the media so-called experts who tell us that serial killers don’t start in their late 50s and their 60s,” Idsinga said. “But then again if we listen to these experts, we’d be looking for a brown-skinned 35-year-old male and that simply isn’t the case, obviously.”

Police have said they plan to search at least 70 more properties where they believe McArthur, a self-employed landscaper, worked. They have also said their investigation could reach as far back as 1975.  

In addition to the new avenues opened up by the discovery of Kanagaratnam’s remains, police have also expanded the sprawling investigation decades into the past by examining some cold cases.

Accused serial killer Bruce McArthur has been charged with an eighth count of first-degree murder, with Toronto police saying an international agency helped them identify the new victim.

Police identify eighth alleged victim of accused serial killer Bruce McArthur

Idsinga has previously said that investigators are examining 15 unsolved homicides that took place between 1975 and 1997. He said the victims in those cases matched the general profile of the first seven men McArthur is accused of killing.

Police allege Kanagaratnam, 37, was killed sometime between Sept. 3 and Dec. 14, 2015, but Idsinga would not elaborate on what brought them to that conclusion.

Eighth murder charge against accused serial killer Bruce McArthur

He emphasized, however, that police have not uncovered any evidence to suggest that McArthur’s alleged killing spree began before 2010 when Navaratnam is believed to have died.

Lead investigator Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga announced Monday at a news briefing that the latest victims name was Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam.

Many of McArthur’s alleged victims were the subjects of two previous police probes into the disappearances of men from the city’s gay village.

Idsinga said they had no evidence that Kanagaratnam had any links to the citys LGBTQ neighbourhood, unlike all seven other victims.

The first probe — named Project Houston — was launched in 2012 to investigate the disappearances of Faizi, Kayhan and Navaratnam. It closed after 18 months as it did not establish the whereabouts of the missing men or resolve the circumstances of their disappearances, police said.

In August 2017, police launched Project Prism, which looked into the disappearances of Kinsman and Esen. McArthur came to the police’s attention in the fall of 2017 as part of that probe.

Bruce McArthur, Alleged Toronto Serial Killer, Charged With 8th Count Of Murder

Toronto police have faced heavy criticism from the public and the LGBTQ community in particular for their handling of the missing persons cases. As recently as six weeks before McArthur’s arrest, the force, including Chief Mark Saunders, said there was no indication the disappearances were the work of a serial killer.

Saunders apologized in February after seeming to suggest in a published interview that police might have cracked the cases earlier if members of the public had been more forthcoming with investigators.

McArthur was previously charged in the murders of Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam and Abdulbasir Faizi. With the exception of Kayhan, police say theyve identified the remains of those men in the planters. Police have not released a cause of death for any of the men.

An external review to be launched later this month will look into the way in which Toronto police investigated the missing men reports.

Idsinga said Kanagaratnam was never reported missing and was not identified until after police released an image that generated hundreds of tips. CBC News reported the image came from McArthurs computer, but Idsinga would not confirm that information.

Who is the Toronto Serial Killer? How many victims is he suspected of killing, and why is the police investigation so …

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Police in Toronto, Canada, have charged alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur with an eighth count of first-degree murder after identifying another set of remains.

A timeline of key events in the case of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur based on information released by Toronto police:

Kanagaratnams remains were identified as being among at least seven bodies found in large planters at a property where McArthur, a landscaper, stored equipment.

September 2010 _ Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, disappears from Toronto’s gay village.

The identification was confirmed with the assistance from an international government agency, said Idsinga, though he would not provide further details.

Dec. 29, 2010 _ Abdulbasir Faizi, 42, is reported missing to Peel Regional Police, west of Toronto. He was last seen in Toronto’s gay village.

Idsinga said police are looking at cold cases as far back as 1975, but have not found evidence linking McArthur to historic cases.

November 2012 _ Police launch Project Houston to investigate the disappearances of Faizi, Navaratnam and Kayhan.

A police officer carries containers outside a house on Mallory Crescent in Toronto, where Bruce McArthur did landscape work.

April 2014 _ Police close Project Houston, saying none of their findings would classify anyone as a suspect of a criminal offence.

In this artists sketch, alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur makes an appearance via video in a Toronto courtroom.

May 2016 – July 2017 _ Police believe Dean Lisowick, 43 or 44, of no fixed address, was killed by McArthur during this time span.

August 2017 _ Police launch Project Prism to investigate the disappearances of Esen and Kinsman.

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

Dec. 8, 2017 _ Police Chief Mark Saunders says the force will review its practices in missing persons investigations. He denies that there is evidence suggesting a serial killer is walking the streets of Toronto.

Jan. 17, 2018 _ Police uncover evidence suggesting McArthur was responsible for both Kinsman and Esen’s deaths, along with the deaths of other unidentified people.

Jan. 18, 2018 _ McArthur is arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Esen and Kinsman. Police say McArthur is believed to be responsible for other deaths.

Jan. 29, 2018 _ McArthur is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Mahmudi, Kayhan and Lisowick. Police call McArthur an alleged serial killer and say more victims may be identified.

Feb. 8, 2018 _ Police say they’ve recovered the remains of six people from planters at a house where McArthur worked as a landscaper, and say they expect more charges.

Feb. 13, 2018 _ Police say excavation at the home’s backyard turned up no human remains, but suggest they may “revisit the scene” when the weather warms up.

Feb. 23, 2018 _ Police lay a sixth charge of first-degree murder against McArthur, identify Navaratnam as one of the alleged victims whose remains were found in the planters.

March 5, 2018 _ Police say they’ve recovered the remains of a seventh person linked to McArthur.

April 11, 2018 _ Police lay a seventh murder charge against McArthur in Faizi’s death.

April 16, 2018 _ Police lay an eighth murder charge against McArthur in the death of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, who came to Canada from Sri Lanka and was not reported missing.

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