For years, men kept going missing. The police refused to believe there was a serial killer on the loose. A suspect has finally been arrested and charged with the murder of two men in Toronto's Church and Wellesley village, a hub of the LGBTQ+ community known as Toronto's "gay village." Now, the police are saying that those two men, who went missing last summer, were most likely not the killer's only victims.
Selim Esen (44) and Andrew Kinsman (49) both went missing in the summer of 2017 — Esen in April and Kinsman in June.
Although their bodies have never been found, Bruce McArthur (66) has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder for their deaths. Det-Sgt. Hank Idsinga of the homicide squad said in a press conference, “I’m well aware of the difficulty of prosecuting people without recovering the bodies, but in this case, we believe we have strong enough evidence that we can do exactly that.”
And the police believe there are likely more victims.
Between 2010 and 2012, three other men from that area in Toronto have gone missing: Skandaraj “Skanda” Navaratnam (43), Abdulbasir “Basir” Faizi (44), and Majeed “Hamid” Kayhan (58).
McArthur has not been charged with their murders yet, but police are not ruling out that he could also be responsible for their disappearances.
This is a peculiar case because the public outcry has been substantial — the LGBTQ+ community in Toronto have been saying for a long time that something sinister was happening in their village, and they were largely ignored.
Former Toronto homicide detective Mark Mendelson expressed that he’s never seen a case quite like this: “I think this is pretty unique in terms of this being one specific community, a community that has taken the position from the beginning that these things were related. And until the evidence identified that as being true, they were dealing with them as separate disappearances.”
Still, many were outraged at the perceived inaction of the police department.
CP24 has reported that following a police search of his home, McArthur has been linked to two more murders.
McArthur was detained as part of an investigation they’re calling “Project Prism.” So far, the police have not revealed what sort of evidence they have that implicates McArthur in the murders.
But one source told CP24 that McArthur had been under surveillance for a time when he tried to enter an auto wrecking yard to destroy his car. Police approached him and found blood in the trunk of his vehicle. This is the evidence they used to obtain a search warrant for his apartment.
Vice found a Facebook page belonging to a man named Bruce McArthur who's in his 60s and is self-employed, with a landscaping business. That same man has a profile on a gay dating website, silverdaddies.com. These details are all in line with what has been released by the police.
“I can be a bit shy until I get to know you,” McArthur’s profile read, “but am a romantic at heart. I love to cook and enjoy most types of food. Just here to see what’s out there and maybe make a few new friends.”
But there’s more to this story…