Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Toronto police chief, lead investigators satisfied with Bruce McArthur's sentence

Toronto police chief, lead investigators satisfied with Bruce McArthur's sentence

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.

As each count carried a mandatory life sentence without parole for 25 years, the only decision before Justice John McMahon has been whether to sentence him concurrently or consecutively.

Bruce McArthur pleaded guilty to killing these eight men. But he added that even if McArthur sought parole at 91, the chances of his receiving it would be "very remote at best".

As Canadian serial killer Bruce McArthur was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of eight men on Friday, LGBT+ activists questioned whether homophobia and racism may have hampered police investigations into the disappearance of his victims.

McArthur's victims were Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Skandaraj Navaratnam and Soroush Mahmudi. Most of the victims were from the Gay Village neighborhood of Toronto.

The questions surrounding police bias around McArthur have led to the formation of an advisory board made up of activists, lawyers and former judges, who will conduct an independent investigation into how missing persons reports are handled, according to The Toronto Sun.

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.

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

She said the punishment failed to either fit the crime or soothe the wounds of the community impacted by the men's deaths. Most victims were immigrants and of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent.

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May 2016 - July 2017 - Police believe Dean Lisowick, 43 or 44, of no fixed address, was killed by McArthur during this time span.

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

January 17, 2018 - Police uncover evidence suggesting McArthur was responsible for both Kinsman and Esen's deaths, along with the deaths of other unidentified people. "A different standard of justice for racialized and LGBTQ+ people is the reality in our city and province". On his computer they would uncover an empty digital folder with his first name - "John" - akin to others created for each of his victims to store images. Numerous photos were taken after their deaths, with the bodies of six of them posed with a fur coat and props. He was found bound to a bed with a bag over his head but otherwise unharmed.

Toronto police said they have no plans to release his mugshot.

But prosecutors offered no insights into what drove McArthur, a father of two who left his wife in 2000, to become a serial killer.

Rev. Deana Dudley, of Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, says work must be done in order to restore a sense of security.

But then he said "two factors unique to this case" prevented him from doing so.

"This is a crime of stark horror", Cantlon said in a statement. Shelly's brother Andrew Kinsman was one of McArthur's victims.

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