February 21, 2019

Gay serial killer Bruce McArthur given eight life sentences

11 February 2019, 03:00 | Devin Moran

Serial killer Bruce McArthur sentenced to 25 years in prison

Serial killer Bruce McArthur sentenced to life in prison

Shelly Kinsman is embraced by supporter Susan Gapka as she leaves The Toronto Courthouse in Toronto, Ontario on Friday, February 8, 2019 after the sentencing of Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur.

The 67-year-old landscaper will be allowed to apply for parole at the age of 91.

McArthur, whose mother was Irish, admitted to sexually assaulting, killing and in some cases photographing the dead bodies of eight men connected to the Toronto gay village.

In cases of multiple counts of first-degree murder, judges can choose consecutive life sentences, which would increase the years of parole ineligibility for convicted murderers.

The Crown is seeking a life sentence with no chance of parole for 50 years.

Serial killer Bruce McArthur was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and will be eligible to apply for parole after that.

McArthur's victims were Andrew Kinsmen, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Souroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kanagartnam.

McArthur has been in prison since January 2018 when investigators discovered dismembered remains in planters at home he used as storage for his business.

Numerous victims, although not all, were from the Gay Village, a neighborhood in Toronto known for its predominantly gay population.

In November 2012, the Toronto police began an investigation into the disappearances of three men who, it eventually emerged, were murdered by McArthur.

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's string of murders has prompted an inquiry by a retired judge into how the Toronto police handle missing persons cases and whether their investigations are influenced by the sexuality or race of those who have vanished.

McMahon said: "All or most of the victims were vulnerable individuals who were lured to their death".

A man said that McArthur had tried to choke him in the back of his van but that he escaped.

McArthur had been in the middle of restraining a potential ninth victim identified as "John" when police arrested him. "This court can not give them what they want the most - which is their loved one back".

At a news conference on Friday afternoon, Toronto Police Insp. "A different standard of justice for racialized and LGBTQ+ people is the reality in our city and province".

The prosecution said that a frequent site of the killings was McArthur's bedroom and that he repeatedly strangled his victims either with his hands or with rope and a metal bar.

Two police investigations into the missing men returned no leads, even though McArthur's name came up during one investigation, and he was as a witness (not a suspect) during the later one. He was last seen in Toronto's gay village.

Some of the victims' friends and family members were too overwhelmed by emotion to read their sentencing statements to the judge, and prosecutors took over. He thanked both the prosecution and the defence, noting "it is not easy to defend a serial killer".

The last victim, Andrew Kinsman, was superintendent of McArthur's apartment building.

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