Gay ‘serial killer’ Bruce McArthur: Investigation launched over alleged police misconduct
An internal investigation has reportedly been launched over allegations of police misconduct in the Bruce McArthur case.
Mr McArthur stands accused of killing seven men he met in Toronto’s gay district and on gay dating apps.
The lead detective investigating the case has uncovered possible misconduct by police in a “troubling” incident involving the alleged serial killer years before he was arrested.
The incident is now the subject of a formal investigation by officers, according to The Globe and Mail.
Homicide Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga said he came across details of possible misconduct in mid-2017, but has only been able to compile the full details in recent weeks.
A formal dossier was reportedly handed to police Monday.
Det. Sgt. Idsinga was asked by local news if the investigation was “a career case” for him and his colleagues.
“This one is certainly going to have an impact on some careers, positively and possibly negatively as well, but it’s definitely one for the books,” he replied.
66-year-old Mr McArthur was charged with a sixth murder, of Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, last month.
Navaratnam went missing in 2010, making him one of a string of men who disappeared from Toronto’s gay village downtown.
Officers have confessed that there could be more victims of the alleged killer and have searched 30 separate sites.
McArthur worked as a landscape gardener and police fear there could be the remains of more men in gardens around the city.
Detective Hank Idsinga said that they were waiting to search McArthur’s house and grounds further when the weather warms up and the ground softens so that they can use police dogs.
Haran Vijayanathan, a community activist and executive director of the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention in Toronto, believes that authorities missed vital clues to the alleged killer in early years.
“Until that point, all the South Asian men that went missing kind of fell by the wayside and nobody paid attention until something happened in the white community,” he said.
McArthur has also been charged with the murder of Selim Even, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Marmudi and Dean Lisowick – all of whom had connections to the city’s gay scene.
The landscaper is said to have met the men on gay dating apps under the screen names ‘silverfoxx51’ and ‘Bear411’ while driving around Toronto in his white van.
In one online SilverDaddies bio, McArthur described himself as “a bit shy until I get to know you, but am a romantic at heart,” while adding that most men are “so far away”.
Images found online show McArthur dressed as Santa Clause in a local shopping centre, posing for photos with babies and young children.
McArthur’s Facebook profile indicates he was a Santa at Scarborough’s Agincourt Mall, northeast Toronto, for at least 2015 and 2016.
An Instagram photo from a shopper appears to show him also playing the role of Santa as recently as last Christmas.
Police raided McArthur’s home early February and discovered a man in restraints.
Sources told CBC that officers believed the man to be in imminent danger at the scene and subsequently arrested McArthur.
Dismembered remains of bodies were found by police in planters at wealthy properties linked to McArthur, sparking a search for more remains at dozens of houses where he had been employed.
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Police have been slammed after they admitted that they nearly missed evidence linked to the alleged serial killer.
Police admitted to The National that had one victim been reported missing later, they might not have tracked down McArthur.
“Andrew Kinsman was reported within 72 hours,” said Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga, referring to one of five men McArthur is charged with killing. “A crucial piece of evidence was uncovered because of that immediate reporting.
“If he had been reported seven or eight days after he disappeared we wouldn’t be here today,” Idsinga said.
“You stop when the evidence stops,” he added. “You can’t leave these families out there wondering.”