Toronto police announced new charges Monday after connecting an 8th murder against serial killer Bruce McArthur who targeted gay men, sex workers, and immigrants.
McArthur now faces first-degree murder charges for the killing of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, who was slain sometime between Sept. 3 and Dec. 14, 2015, according to the Toronto Police Service.
All of the previously identified victims had ties to Toronto’s Gay Village community. The killing spree dates back at least until 2010, according to police.
Police are still investigating Kanagaratnam’s background, but have yet to find any connection between the immigrant and the gay community, said Detective Sgt. Hank Idsinga, the lead investigator.
Investigators were able to identify Kanagaratnam, 37, who came to Canada from Sri Lanka in 2010, after releasing a photo of him last week. He had not been reported missing.
“He doesn’t quite fit the profile we’ve seen before,” said Idsinga, who declined to comment on Kanagaratnam’s immigration status.
McArthur, who made a brief court appearance Monday where he was read the new charges, now has been implicated in the slayings of eight men between 2010 and 2017. Seven of the victims’ remains were found in planters at a property where the suspect stored tools.
Police in Toronto have faced criticism in the city’s LGBT community, who question why it took so long for authorities to ascertain a serial killer had been preying on gay men. The Toronto Globe & Mail and Toronto Star have reported that McArthur had been questioned by police in 2013 or 2014.
“We knew something was up. … We did not have the evidence,” Chief Mark Saunders told The Globe and Mail in a February interview. “If anyone knew before us, it’s people who knew him very, very well. And so that did not come out.”
Police arrested McArthur in January and initially charged him with murdering Andrew Kinsman, an LGBT activist, and Selim Esen, 44, a Turkish immigrant.
McArthur was later charged with the murders of Dean Lisowick, a sex worker, Majeed Kayhan, a 58-year-old Afghan immigrant who had been missing since 2012; Soroush Marmoudi, a 50-year-old immigrant from Iran reported missing in 2015; Skandaraj Navaratnam, a refugee from Sri Lanka who was last seen in 2010.