Toronto police announced another murder charge this week in the case of Bruce McArthur, a suspected serial killer.
Earlier in the year, human remains were found in flowerpots at houses where McArthur worked as a landscaper, leading to his arrest.
McArthur had already been charged with the murder of five before the most recent announcement, according to CNN. The cases of those missing date back to 2010.
This latest charge, specifically for first-degree murder, is for the death of Skandaraj "Skanda" Navaratnam. Navaratnam was last seen in September of 2010 and was officially reported missing by friends 10 days after his disappearance. His remains were amongst the others found in flowerpots. Fingerprints, dental records and DNA analysis were used to identify Navaratnam and other victims, including Andrew Kinsman and Soroush Mahmudi. Three more victims have yet to be identified.
Investigators have "no idea" how many victims they have yet to discover, Detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga told CNN.
McArthur's killings had garnered increased police attention when Andrew Kinsman, a 49-year-old LGBTQ activist, went missing. McArthur had previously established a pattern of targeting more marginal members of the LGBTQ community, including homeless people.
“There's a part of me that says Bruce wanted to get caught because he broke that pattern of preying on the vulnerable,” Haran Vijayanathan, a community activist and executive director of the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention in Toronto, said in an interview with The Independent, a UK online newspaper.
The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, a wellness program in Toronto, also weighed in.
"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 disappearances of Navaratnam, Faizi, and Kayhan remain under investigation. Despite the initial public outcry, outreach and demand for an investigation in 2010 and then again in 2012 – Project Houston drew no conclusion for these victims. We hope that answers will come to light soon," 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," the letter continued. "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."
McArthur's attorney, Edward Royle, has not offered a comment on the situation.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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