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Toronto serial killer given life in prison for murdering eight

11 February, 2019, 11:28 | Author: Taylor George
  • Serial killer Bruce McArthur sentenced to life in prison

The 67-year-old self-employed landscaper pleaded guilty last week to murdering eight men with ties to Toronto's gay village.

For murders so brutal and so horrific, prosecutors wanted McArthur to serve 50 years before he can apply for parole.

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They were Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Skandaraj Navaratnam and Soroush Mahmudi.

Several members of the gay community told reporters outside the courthouse they were disappointed McArthur did not receive a harsher penalty, while others accepted that he would likely die behind bars.

Police said that from August 2017, when McArthur was first named as person of interest, to the months after when he was put under surveillance, they worked to ensure he would not kill again.

McArthur then dismembered his victims and hid their remains in planters at a Toronto residential property where he stored his landscaping equipment, and in a ravine behind the home.

All eight victims were gay and killed in Toronto's predominately gay neighborhood, known as "the Village".

She said the punishment failed to either fit the crime or soothe the wounds of the community impacted by the men's deaths.

After killing each of the men, McMahon said, McArthur subjected them to "the greatest post-mortem indignity": cutting their bodies into pieces and burying their remains in plant pots or underground.

And because McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder, he faced eight of those sentences.

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Justice McMahon called the crimes "pure evil" and especially condemned McArthur's exploitation of his victims' vulnerabilities.

Now, with the trial over, advocates want to put the focus back on why so many died before police cracked the case.

McArthur never expressed any remorse and only stopped his killing spree because he was arrested.

The photos on McArthur's computer - some of which were taken when the men were alive - showed that the victims were "restrained and sexually assaulted", Cantlon said.

McMahon cited McArthur's guilty plea and his age as grounds for his decision, reported CBC.

"All of the victims were vulnerable individuals lured to their deaths", he said.

"Some were forced to live parts of their life in secret because of their orientation".

A ninth sub file on McArthur's found USB storage device had been titled "John" - the name of the man found handcuffed to the bed, naked, with duct tape over his mouth.

McMahon also addressed the impact the murders have had on the LGBTQ community.

"It is my hope that he will never again know freedom and that this sentence begins the hard journey of delivering justice to the victims of these crimes, their friends and families, our LGBTQ community and our entire city". Local LGBTQ organizations, including the The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, a wellness program in Toronto, hypothesized that anti-gay and racist bigotry prevented them from solving this case efficiently, noting that police investigations were only amped up after a white man was killed in 2017.

The first victim to go missing was Navaratnam, a refugee who fled Sri Lanka and settled in Toronto.

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