After the discovery of human remains in flowerpots, police have been searching for more victims of the alleged Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur. On March 5, police discovered the remains of a seventh individual who they believe is yet another victim.
The victim, a man, has yet to be publicly identified, according to NBC. Police were hoping to discover the victim's identity before having to release a picture of the corpse to the public.
"I do not want to release this picture and I'm doing so as a last resort ... I've never done this before. I do it with great hesitation. It is obviously a key piece of evidence that we have that we are releasing, but we feel by releasing it, hopefully we can identify him and close off that area of the investigation," said Detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga, who did not offer a comment on how the picture was obtained. Idsinga said he recognized the emotional harm he may cause by releasing the photo.
McArthur's victims have largely come from Toronto's Gay Village, an area populated largely by members of the city's LGBTQ community. The police have shown pictures to people in that area who were unable to say who it could have been.
At least seven people's remains have been found inside large planters on properties that McArthur had worked at as a landscaper.
Three of those victims have been identified as Andrew Kinsman (49), Soroush Mahmudi (50), and Skandaraj Navaratnam (40). McArthur has already been charged with first-degree murder pertaining to their deaths. He is also implcated in the presumed deaths of Selim Esen (44) Majeed Kayhan (58), and Dean Lisowick (either 43 or 44).
Police are not sure how many more victims will be discovered. They believe he used gay dating apps to find his victims.
McArthur has not yet entered a plea.
The case of the Gay Village murders has had many members of Toronto's LGBTQ community critical of the police, saying they failed to take action because many of McArthur's victims were gay and/or non-white.
Local LGBTQ organizations, including the The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, a wellness program in Toronto, condemned the law enforcement community and implied bigotry prevented them from solving this case efficiently.
"We believe that the Toronto Police Service failed to provide adequate resources and effort in their investigations of the disappearances of Skanda Navaratnam (2010), Abdulbasir Faizi (2010), Majeed Kayhan (2012), and Selim Esen (2017)," the Alliance wrote. "It is saddening and unacceptable that it took the disappearance of Andrew Kinsman to reopen public interest in the cases of the missing South Asian and Middle Eastern men. Families and friends of the respective men were not given the closure that they deserved in a timely manner. We strongly emphasize that racism and homophobia are systemic issues that affect every part of our society. A different standard of justice for racialized and LGBTQ+ people is the reality in our city and province."