Timeline in the case of Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur
Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur appears in court. (Sketch by John Mantha)
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Friday, February 8, 2019 1:00PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 10, 2019 2:55PM EST
A detailed timeline of the investigation into Bruce McArthur emerged this week when an agreed statement of facts was submitted to the court during the serial killer’s sentencing hearing. Here is everything we know about the Bruce McArthur investigation.
Timeline in Bruce McArthur case:
2003: Bruce McArthur is handed a conditional sentence of two years less a day and three years’ probation in connection with an Oct. 2001 assault on a man with a metal pipe. McArthur claimed to have slept with the victim prior to the assault, which resulted in the victim receiving stitches.
Sept. 6, 2010: Police believe this is the date 40-year-old Skandaraj Navaratnam is murdered by Bruce McArthur, a man he had a romantic relationship with and has known since as far back as 1999. He was later reported missing. Navaratnam told a friend in 2008 that he had gone to Niagara Falls on a number of occasions with McArthur but had stopped seeing him. A bracelet with ‘Skanda’ engraved on it was found in McArthur’s apartment after his 2018 arrest.
Dec. 29, 2010: Police believe this is the date 42-year-old Abdulbasir Faizi is murdered by Bruce McArthur. Faizi was subsequently reported missing by his family.
Jan. 4, 2011: Faizi’s 2002 Nissan is found at a home on Moore Avenue about one kilometre away from a property where McArthur was house-sitting at the time. When the homeowners return to their residence, they notice a dark stain on the floor of their bedroom. McArthur told the homeowners that he had spilled Coca Cola and had tried to clean the stain. Police would later find bags of hair belonging to the victims in a shed on that same property.
Oct. 18, 2012: Police believe this is the date 58-year-old Majeed Kayhan is murdered by Bruce McArthur, a man he had known since 2003. Kayhan was later reported missing by his family.
November 2012: Police launch Project Houston to investigation the disappearances of Navaratnam, Faizi, and Kayhan.
Nov. 11, 2013: McArthur is interviewed in connection with Project Houston. When questioned about his relationship with Kayhan, he told police that he had employed Kayhan for a month doing landscaping work and that they had a sexual relationship but McArthur later broke it off. Belongings of Faizi and Navaratnam also showed that McArthur knew the two other missing men. McArthur told police that Navaratnam was part of a group he socialized with at the Black Eagle bar but denied having a sexual relationship with him. He could not recall where he was on the day of Navaratnam’s disappearance. McArthur was not treated as a suspect but rather a witness in a missing person’s case.
Nov. 29, 2013: McArthur gets rid of his vehicle and purchases a new van, a 2004 Dodge Caravan.
April 2014: Project Houston is shut down and no one is identified as a suspect in any criminal offence.
June 3, 2014: McArthur obtains a record suspension from the Parole Baord of Canada in relation to his 2003 assault conviction.
Aug. 15, 2015: Police believe this is the date 49-year-old Soroush Mahmudi is murdered by Bruce McArthur. He is reported missing a short time later by his family.
Jan. 9, 2016: This is the date investigators believe 37-year-old Kirushna Kanagaratnam is murdered by Bruce McArthur. He is not reported missing as his friends and family believe he is in hiding to avoid deportation.
April 23, 2016: This is the date police believe 43-year-old Dean Lisowick is murdered by Bruce McArthur. He is not reported missing.
June 20, 2016: McArthur shows up at the workplace of a man he had known for years and asked the man to meet in his van in a parking lot later that evening. The victim later goes to McArthur’s van, gets inside, and notices that the seat behind the driver’s seat was removed so there was room to lie down. The floor of the van had a plastic sheet on it and on top of that was a fur coat lying open. McArthur tells the victim to lie down on the coat and put one of his arms behind his back. McArthur proceeds to hold on to the victim’s wrist with an angry look on his face. When the victim asks McArthur to stop, he does not. McArthur grabs the victim’s throat and starts strangling him. The victim tries to roll away and starts begging for him to stop. McArthur does not respond but continues to squeeze the larynx of the victim. The victim manages to escape the car and reports the incident to police. He said he was unable to swallow for a week following the assault. McArthur attends the police station on his own accord and gives an exculpatory statement. He is released without charge as police believed his statement to be credible. When a criminal record check was performed on McArthur, police say the 2003 assault would not have shown up due to the record suspension he was granted.
April 16, 2017: Police believe Bruce McArthur picked up Selim Esen in the city’s Church-Wellesley neighbourhood. Esen, police say, went to McArthur’s apartment and was never seen alive again.
June 26, 2017: This is the date police believe Andrew Kinsman is murdered by Bruce McArthur, a man he has known for more than a decade. He is reported missing by one of his neighbours.
August 2017: Police launch Project Prism to investigate the disappearances of Kinsman and Esen. During their investigation, police find the name “Bruce” on Kinsman’s calendar under the date of June 26, 2017. The calendar entry also indicated the time of the meeting to be “2 p.m. or 3 p.m.” Video surveillance footage obtained from Kinsman’s neighbourhood shows Kinsman getting into a red Dodge Caravan on the afternoon of his disappearance.
Aug. 24, 2017: Police visit a Dodge dealership on Front Street East and determine that the vehicle in the surveillance footage is a 2004 Dodge Caravan 20th Anniversary Edition. The Ministry of Transportation identified 6,181 2003 to 2006 Dodge Caravans in the Greater Toronto Area. When the list was narrowed down to owners named “Bruce,” five entries came back. Of the five “Bruce” entries, only one vehicle was a 2004 Dodge Caravan and that vehicle belonged to Bruce McArthur. The other four vehicles were ruled out based on the surveillance footage.
Sept. 1, 2017: Police seize video footage from the underground parking garage at Bruce McArthur’s apartment building. At that time, footage was only available from July 29, 2017 onward.
Sept. 5, 2017: Police locate the minivan at a residence associated to McArthur in Bowmanville.
Sept. 5 to Nov. 7: Police follow McArthur to obtain information on his lifestyle and background. One of the locations they follow McArthur to is a property at 53 Mallory Crescent, where he stores tools for his landscaping business.
Sept. 10: Officers collect a DNA sample from McArthur at a Second Cup coffee shop.
Oct. 2 and 3, 2017: Officers attend the Bowmanville residence but notice that the vehicle is no longer there. The vehicle is eventually located at a wrecking yard in Courtice. The van is seized by police.
Oct. 30, Nov. 9, and Nov. 23, 2017: Forensic tests are conducted on the van and blood and semen are found inside the vehicle. Kinsman, Esen, and McArthur’s DNA are found inside the vehicle.
Dec. 5: Police obtain a warrant to covertly enter McArthur’s Thorncliffe Park residence.
Dec. 7: Police conduct the search of McArthur’s apartment and copy a USB drive, a digital external hard drive, and 45 per cent of an old desktop computer’s hard drive before they had to leave. They also took a DNA swab of an orange stain on McArthur’s pillow, a DNA swab of a 7-9-inch metal bar wrapped in tape, and copied information on post-it notes with website account names and passwords.
Jan. 17: Police find photos of the deceased victims on McArthur’s digital devices.
Jan. 18, 2018: Police, who are monitoring McArthur’s movements, see him bring a man, identified as “John” in the agreed statement of facts, home to his apartment. McArthur asks John if anyone knew he was coming over that morning and John told McArthur that no one had knowledge of his whereabouts. When John goes upstairs to McArthur’s apartment, McArthur tells him to go to the bedroom. McArthur tells John that they should hurry because his son or roommate could be coming home soon. McArthur tells John to undress quickly. John undresses and McArthur comes back into the room with handcuffs. When John asked what is happening, McArthur tells him they are “going to try something different.” He handcuffs John to the bed. McArthur then comes back into the room with a black leather bag and places it over John’s head. John asks McArthur to remove the bag, but he does not. When John manages to get the bag off of his head, McArthur attempts to tape his mouth shut. McArthur’s assault on the victim is interrupted by police, who are knocking at the door. Police officers arrest McArthur and find John naked and handcuffed to the bed against his will. Nine folders were later found on McArthur’s computer, one for each of his victims. John’s name was on one of the folders.
Jan. 18, 2018: Police interview the homeowners at 53 Mallory Crescent. In a video statement, the homeowners say McArthur has stored equipment in their garage for the past 10 years in exchange for lawn care. He frequents the house two to three times a day and has a set of keys to the property, they tell police. They tell investigators that they spend most of the summer at their cottage. They also mention that over the years, they had seen McArthur working with younger males of Middle Eastern decent.
Jan. 18, 2018: Police announce the arrest of McArthur in connection with the murders of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen. Police also say they believe McArthur is responsible for the deaths of other men.
Jan. 19, 2018: Police execute a search warrant at Mallory Crescent. Cadaver dogs are drawn to five large plant pots in the backyard of the property, which are seized.
Jan. 29, 2018: McArthur is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Mahmudi, Kayhan, and Lisowick. Police confirm more victims may be identified.
Feb. 8, 2018: Police confirm the remains of at least six people have been found in planters at the house on Mallory Crescent and say more charges are expected.
Feb. 23, 2018: Police lay another charge of first-degree murder against McArthur in the death of Navaratnam.
March 5, 2018: The remains of a seventh person are recovered from the planters.
April 11, 2018: Police charge McArthur in connection with Faizi’s death.
April 16, 2018: Police charge McArthur with the death of Kanagaratnam.
May 2018: Police wrap up their search of the Mallory Crescent property.
Oct. 22, 2018: McArthur waives his right to a preliminary inquiry.
Jan. 29, 2019: McArthur pleads guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder.
Feb. 1, 2019: Police announce that Sgt. Paul Gauthier will appear before a disciplinary hearing on charges of insubordination and neglect of duty in connection with McArthur’s alleged assault in June 2016.
Feb. 8, 2019: McArthur is sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for 25 years.