Sentencing Closes Chapter, Not Case

By Kevin Masterman, Toronto Police Service Published: 3:33 p.m. February 8, 2019

A sentence of 25 years without parole to a serial killer does not end the examination of the case.

A man at a podium
Det. Dave Dickinson speaks to reporters about the McArthur investigation

Chief Mark Saunders told the media conference on February 8 that the concurrent life sentences handed down to Bruce McArthur for the deaths of eight men ends a chapter in the investigation. He now wants to examine the investigation so that more can be learned.

“We are definitely going to be transparent, I feel very strong about the hard work that was done by the Toronto Police Service and all the agencies that have assisted us but I do believe the public has questions,” said Chief Mark Saunders, noting more information must be shared with the public before drawing conclusions. “As an organization, the ability to learn because we want to not because we have to is what is important and the right forum to go right down to the minutiae on every individual item that led up to this conclusion I’m certainly willing and looking forward to these opportunities.”

He said the examination of the case must include what information police had at the time as well as the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of police officers in such investigations.

The Toronto Police Services Board is looking at what options it has for a review of the case.

Homicide Insp. Hank Idsinga was satisfied with the verdict.

“It’s still a life sentence the only difference is parole eligibility and as Justice McMahon says he can’t imagine a parole board ever letting Mr. McArthur out even if by some fluke he lives to the age of 91,” Idsinga said, of the sentences being served concurrently - at the same time - rather than consecutively as per the judge’s ruling. “We never expect to see Mr. McArthur in public again.”

A man at a podium with video cameras pointed at him
Chief Mark Saunders speaks to the media after concurrent life sentences were handed down to Bruce McArthur

Lead Det. David Dickinson said the sentence was welcome for the investigative team because of the quick conclusion of the case noting murder cases most often last years in court.

“We will continue to look at any connections Bruce McArthur has to missing persons, cold cases, we will continue to look if there are any other links,” Dickinson said, noting there is no evidence to date.

“It was an entire team effort and a lot of them are here today. A big piece of that evidence was a note from Andrew Kinsmen himself,” he said, of McArthur’s final victim. “In hindsight he left his killer’s name on his calendar.”

Kinsmen had wrote ‘Bruce’ on a calendar entry and investigators later found security video of him getting into a minivan model that only five other men named Bruce were registered to in the province – eventually narrowing their search and finding evidence tied to murder victims in that same van.

McArthur admitted to the murders of Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Soroush Mahmaudi, Dean Lisowick, Majeed Kayhan, Skanda Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam.

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