Canadian serial killer Bruce McArthur sentenced to life in prison

Andrew Francis Wallace  Toronto Star via Getty Images	

Investigators sift through garden planters for remains of McArthur’s victims

Andrew Francis Wallace Toronto Star via Getty Images Investigators sift through garden planters for remains of McArthur’s victims

For friends and family of the eight men murdered by McArthur, the sentencing was the culmination of his guilty plea last week, and the arduous days in court that followed - listening to the horrifying details of how he killed his victims, and delivering victim impact statements.

That waiting period would have left McArthur ineligible for parole until the age of 116, beyond his expected natural lifespan.

"We should all remember the victims today: Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen".

Bruce McArthur, 67, pleaded guilty last week to committing the crimes between 2010 and 2017.

At a sentencing hearing that ended Tuesday, Canadians heard how he lured and murdered men he met in Toronto's Gay Village, then posed corpses in costumes, keeping pictures of each victim in labelled digital folders.

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 dismembered all his victims and buried most of their remains in large planter pots at a home in midtown Toronto where he stored his landscaping equipment. "He also exploited others through a belief he was their friend", McMahon said.

Each count of homicide McArthur has been convicted of carried with it an automatic life sentence, according to the BBC.

"The ability to decapitate, dismember his victims and do it repeatedly, is pure evil", he said.

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Haran Vijayanathan, executive director of the South Asian Alliance for Aids Prevention and a long-time advocate for the victims and their families, praised the team of detectives that caught McArthur, but expressed anger that it seemed to take the murder of a white man, Kinsman, to spur action.

"I'm not happy with it, not happy at all with it".

Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, disappears from Toronto's gay village.

Bruce McArthur's victims. Top, from left to right: Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, and Dean Lisowick. She said she had "lost any motivation for life" and that she didn't want to live in a world "which became so terribly cruel".

A number of investigations have been launched in the wake of the case, including a disciplinary case of an officer involved in an incident involving McArthur and an internal review into how missing persons cases are handled.

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.

But at Toronto Police Headquarters the feeling was one of closure in the wake of McArthur's sentencing on Friday. "I remember seeing Bruce McArthur sitting outside Starbucks".

On the day McArthur was arrested, January 18, 2018, police surveilling McArthur saw a man, identified in the agreed statement of facts as "John", meet up with McArthur and enter his apartment.

Police say McArthur is believed to be responsible for other deaths. "He's eligible for parole in 25 years, that doesn't mean he's going to be free".

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