A former landscaper in Canada accused of sexually assaulting, killing and dismembering men he met in Toronto's Gay Village district over seven years has pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder.
Appearing in court in downtown Toronto on Tuesday, Bruce McArthur said that no one is pressuring him to enter the plea to eight counts of first-degree murder.
The men McArthur murdered, in alphabetical order, are Selim Esen, Abdulbasir Faizi, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Majeed Kayhan, Andrew Kinsman, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi and Skandaraj Navaratnam.
"Someone who is found guilty of multiple murders is never likely to be released into the community, regardless of what the parole ineligibility is set at", said criminal defence lawyer Daniel Brown, who is not involved in the case.
Police have said that McArthur had dismembered his victims and forensic specialists confirmed the remains of seven of the men turned up in planters seized at the 53 Mallory Crescent home where McArthur worked, while the remains of an eighth man were found in a nearby ravine.
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Authorities also located a calendar belonging to McArthur's boyfriend which had the entry "Bruce" on the day in June 2017 that he went missing, as well as video surveillance footage of the victim getting into McArthur's van, where a murder weapon was also found.
Most of McArthur's victims had ties to Toronto's Gay Village neighborhood. When read the specifics of the victims' death, McArthur reportedly replied, "Yes, your honor", verifying the horrific details in a courtroom filled with his victims' family and loved ones. A sentencing hearing for McArthur is scheduled for February 4.
McArthur was arrested six months later.
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After 49-year-old LGBQT activist and former Toronto bartender Andrew Kinsman went missing, however, police revived the investigation.
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McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper, was arrested in January 2018.
Police set up second special task force to look into the disappearances of men in the Gay Village shortly after Mr Kinsman went missing.
Police say they found a duffle bag with duct tape, a surgical glove, rope, zip ties, a black bungee cord and syringes in his bedroom when they searched his property, according to court documents.
Asked if there should be a public inquiry, Dickinson said if police made mistakes in the investigations, they should learn from them.
Forensic officers scoured McArthur's apartment for four months, moving centimetre by centimetre through the residence with the belief it was an alleged murder scene.
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Toronto police Det. David Dickinson said police continue to investigate the case.