Bruce McArthur (Pic: Facebook)
Canadian police may have saved a bound man when they raided the home of a landscaper alleged to have killed five men associated with the LGBT community.
Suspected serial killer, Bruce McArthur, who allegedly targeted gay or bisexual men in Toronto, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder
The 66-year-old is alleged to have disposed of dismembered bodies in pots and in gardens in which he worked around the city.
His alleged victims have been named as Selim Esen, 44, Andrew Kinsman, 49, Majeed Kayhan, 58, Soroush Marmudi, 50, and Dean Lisowick, 47.
It’s been confirmed that McArthur had a sexual relationship with at least one of the men.
Police believe there may be more victims and are now searching approximately 30 properties in the area to assess if McArthur disposed of other bodies.
They have asked anyone who employed McArthur as a landscaper at their residence to contact the authorities.
At a press conference, Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga said that a common thread in the murders was that most of the victims “were from the gay village, or associated to the gay village”.
He added: “We know that many in the community are struggling to understand and process these developments. We would encourage you to talk to your friends and love ones. Our LGBTQ liaison officer… and the service’s LGBTQ community consultative committee are available to anyone who requires support.”
The authorities became suspicious of McArthur in September last year. On 18 January, officers saw him taking a man into his apartment. They burst into the residence and found the potential victim bound to a bed.
Sources have told the media that police believed that the man was in “imminent danger”. Investigators also discovered photos of McArthur’s alleged victims on his laptop as well as blood evidence in the apartment.
Alleged victims: Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Marmudi, Selim Esen & Andrew Kinsman
Police have been criticised for earlier rejecting the idea that a serial killer was on the prowl in Toronto following the disappearances of men from the city’s gay village that started in 2010.
They have also been accused of racism by not being more active in the investigation because a number of victims were of South Asian and Middle Eastern origin.
“A different standard of justice for racialised and LGBTQ+ people is the reality in our city and province,” said the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP) in a statement.
In 2001, McArthur was convicted of assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm for attacking a man with a pipe. His sentence barred him from an area that included the gay village and from spending time with “male prostitutes”.