Published: Tue, January 29, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Bruce McArthur pleads guilty to 8 counts of first-degree murder

Bruce McArthur pleads guilty to 8 counts of first-degree murder

A former landscaper has pleaded guilty to the murder of eight men with ties to Toronto's Gay Village over a period of seven years.

McArthur is scheduled to appear in Ontario's Superior Court of Justice in downtown Toronto at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Police found their remains either in planters to which McArthur tended at a property in Toronto's Leaside neighbourhood or in the ravine behind that house.

February 23, 2018 - Police lay a sixth charge of first-degree murder against McArthur, identify Navaratnam as one of the alleged victims whose remains were found in the planters.

Police set up a special task force to look into the disappearances of men in the Gay Village area of Toronto shortly after some went missing.

Numerous killings involved sexual assaults and ligatures, Cantlon said, adding that some also included confinement with ropes.

He pleaded guilty to each charge as it was read out loud in court.

Forensic officers also scoured McArthur's apartment for four months, moving centimetre by centimetre through the residence with the belief it was an alleged murder scene.

Sentencing is expected to begin Monday, Feb. 4, at which point victim impact statements will be filed with the court.

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The men went missing from Toronto's gay village between 2010 and 2017.

January 29, 2018 - McArthur is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Mahmudi, Kayhan and Lisowick.

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.

"These losses have forever changed the lives of families, friends, loved ones and have left our communities shaken and aggrieved". The remains of an eighth man were found in a large compost pile in a ravine behind the home, police said. Police continuously denied these claims until they were confirmed on Jan 18, 2018, when they charged Bruce McArthur with the deaths of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen.

On March 5, Toronto police released a photo of a man they believed was another victim in the hopes of identifying him.

Police spent months combing the property and also sent cadaver dogs to more than 100 properties linked to McArthur.

McArthur's arrest launched a massive investigation that spanned Canada's largest city, which investigators called "the largest forensic examination in Toronto Police Service history".

Asked whether there should be an inquiry into failings in the case, Dickinson said: "There's an inquest going on, and if there were mistakes made or lessons learned, absolutely we should learn from them".

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