Toronto serial killer Bruce McArthur pleads guilty

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A Canadian man accused of sexually assaulting, killing and dismembering eight men over several years has pleaded guilty to their murders, in a case that has shaken Toronto's gay community.

In court on Tuesday, McArthur pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the deaths of the eight men.

Police set up another special task force to look into the disappearances of men in the Gay Village shortly after Kinsman went missing. Bottom row (left to right) are Skandaraj Navaratnam, Andrew Kinsman, Kirushna Kanagaratnam and Majeed Kayhan.

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. "But I'm hoping we can start bringing closure to the families and the communities", he said, describing the "long and traumatic process" to bring McArthur to justice.

"We're concluding this now, or in the next couple weeks, as opposed to years".

"Our city deserves two things: justice and answers", he said. "And it was sparing the community - and sparing, more so, the family members - from potentially seeing graphic evidence tendered in court".

McArthur planned each killing and dismembered his victims to avoid detection, burying their remains in planters at a home where he worked as a gardener and in a ravine next to the property, he said.

McArthur appeared in court Tuesday in handcuffs wearing a black sweater, collared shirt, and blue jeans.

"Bruce is now a shabby, broken man as he should be", she said of McArthur today.

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"It's shocking and scary all at the same time". She also said that the 67-year-old landscaper now seemed to be a different man than the one she knew. He retained items belonging to some of them after they died, including Esen's notebook, Lisowick's jewelry and Navaratnam's bracelet.

He was last seen on a surveillance video getting into McArthur's van on 26 June, 2017, and his DNA was later found inside along with the ligature apparently used to strangle him.

But then Andrew Kinsman vanished - a 49-year-old LGBQT activist and former bartender in Toronto who had many friends.

The next day, police arrested McArthur at his apartment and charged him with the murders of Kinsman and Esen.

The first men to disappear were largely of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent living on the fringe of society, and their absences went unnoticed.

McArthur moved to Toronto in 2000.

McArthur will likely have the mandatory minimum of life imprisonment and be eligible for parole in 25 years, according to University of Ottawa Faculty of Law assistant professor, Kyle Kirkup.

Dickinson said sentencing would take place Feb 4 with victim-impact statements on the same day.

Toronto police Det. David Dickinson said police continue to investigate the case.

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