Serial killer staged photos of his dead victims in fur coats

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Serial killer staged photos of his dead victims in fur coats


Killer: Bruce McArthur posed corpses with cigars in their mouths
Killer: Bruce McArthur posed corpses with cigars in their mouths

Serial killer Bruce McArthur staged photos of some of his victims after they died, posing corpses in fur coats with cigars in their mouths, a prosecutor said at his sentencing hearing.

The former gardener preyed on men from Toronto’s Gay Village district, and prosecutor Michael Cantlon said he later accessed some of the photos long after the killings.

The prosecution did not display the images found on McArthur’s electronic devices during the session, but said they included after-death photos of six of the eight victims.

“Victims were posed naked, with cigars in their mouth, shaved, and/or made to wear a fur coat and hat,” Mr Cantlon said. He also said police found a naked man handcuffed to the bed when they raided McArthur’s home and arrested him on January 18 last year.

He said police moved in when they realised McArthur had someone in his home. The man, who survived, was identified only as Middle Eastern and named ‘John’.

Investigators found McArthur had a USB drive that contained a directory with nine subfolders – eight for the men he killed and the ninth for the man found at the time of his arrest, Mr Cantlon said.

McArthur pleaded guilty on January 29 to eight counts of first-degree murder. He sexually assaulted, killed and dismembered men he met in Toronto’s Gay Village over seven years. He faces a potential sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole for 25 years or more. The judge said he expects to hand down a sentence this week.

Police narrowed a list of suspects in the case after seeing surveillance video of the last victim, Andrew Kinsman, enter a red Dodge Caravan in 2017. They later linked that vehicle to McArthur and found Mr Kinsman’s blood and semen in it after McArthur sold it to a scrapyard.

Photos in McArthur’s devices showed he had known Mr Kinsman for at least a decade. Investigators found the victim’s calendar with an entry titled ‘Bruce’ dated June 26 2017 – the day he disappeared.

Mr Cantlon has said the cases range from 2010 to 2017, and a frequent site of the killings was McArthur’s bedroom.

He said the bodies were dismembered and hidden in large planters at a home McArthur used for his landscaping business. Several of the victims were strangled.

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McArthur, now 67, moved to the Toronto area around 2000 and previously lived in a suburb where he was married, raised two children and worked as a travelling salesman of underwear and socks.

His landscaping business was small, but he periodically hired workers, including a 40-year-old man who disappeared in 2010.

Most of the victims were of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent and lived on the margins of Canadian society. Their disappearances attracted little attention. “Many of the victims had ties to Toronto’s LGBT village and had a social life within that community. Many met or corresponded with Mr McArthur through dating apps,” Mr Cantlon said.

“Some were forced to live parts of their life in secret because of their orientation. Some lacked stable housing.

“There is evidence Mr McArthur sought out and exploited these vulnerabilities to continue his crimes undetected.”

McArthur pleaded guilty to killing Mr Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kanagaratnam.

Irish Independent

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