Body Count Attributed To Former Mall Santa And Alleged Serial Killer, Bruce McArthur, Grows To At Least Seven

Toronto police believe that there could be more victims in the disturbing case.

Bruce McArthur serial killer seventh victim
Rob Gilles / AP Images

Toronto police believe that there could be more victims in the disturbing case.

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur has already been charged with six counts of first-degree murder. Now, the Toronto Police Department has released the photograph of a seventh man who they believe was also killed by the 66-year-old former mall Santa Claus. According to investigators, they recovered the remains of the as-yet unidentified man among the large flower pots that contained the corpses of McAruthur’s other alleged victims. As Fox News reports, authorities claim that they did not want to release the image of the deceased man, and only chose to do so after their other attempts at identifying the victim of the alleged serial killer failed.

According to Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga of the Toronto Police Department, releasing the image of the unidentified, dark-haired seventh man was a “last resort.” Idsinga added that the man, presumed to be a victim of Bruce McArthur, is thought to have already been deceased when the publicly published photo was taken.

“I do not want to release this picture and I’m doing so as a last resort. I’ve never done this and I do it with great hesitation.”

Toronto police have refused to comment regarding how they got the photo, and they admit that they are not 100 percent certain if the seventh set of remains attributed to alleged murderer Bruce McArthur belong to the man pictured.

As New York Daily News reports, many of the alleged victims of McArthur were gay men known to frequent Toronto’s “Gay Village,” and are believed to have become acquainted with their alleged murderer by way of gay dating apps. Toronto police claim that before making the image of the seventh victim public, they first attempted to identify him by directly contacting the local gay community.

The remains of all of Bruce McArthur’s alleged victims were discovered in large planting pots at a location where the so-called Toronto serial killer worked as a landscaper. According to investigators, all of the known victims in the McArthur case were dismembered, and their remains partially decomposed upon discovery.

Toronto police say that the remains of the seventh alleged McArthur victim were not newly discovered, but rather scattered among the planters that the department already had in their custody dating back several weeks. Apparently, it took some time for investigators to realize that they were dealing with the bodies of seven victims rather than six.

“I can’t really get into specifics about why we didn’t realize there were seven remains there, but we had the planters several weeks ago.”

At this time, police have only positively identified the remains of three of Bruce McArthur’s alleged victims; 49-year-old Andrew Kinsman, 50-year-old Soroush Mahmudi, and 40-year-old Skandaraj Navarantnam. The other three previously discovered victims are presumed to be 43 or 44-year-old Dean Lisowick, 44-year-old Selim Esen, and 58-year-old Majeed Kayhan. It could be months before conclusive DNA identification of the remains can be completed, and both dental records and fingerprinting have proven unsuccessful in the case.

According to detective Hank Idsinga, the case of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur is unlike anything his city has ever encountered in the past.

“The city of Toronto has never seen anything like this. It is unprecedented and draining. He’s an alleged serial killer and he’s taken some steps to cover his tracks.”

As The Star reports, McArthur was already under the surveillance of Toronto police when he was arrested on January 18. Police reportedly made the decision to arrest their suspect earlier than they’d planned when they observed an unidentified young man enter his apartment. That man was reportedly tied to a bed in the apartment, but fortunately unharmed, when officers arrived on scene.

Toronto police are currently investigating at least 30 properties linked to Bruce McArthur by way of his employment as a landscaper, and detectives believe that it is likely that more human remains may be found in the case. According to ex-Toronto detective Mark Mendelson, this is the largest murder investigation ever to take place in Toronto.

“This will end up being, including in terms of the potential scenes, the largest (investigation) Toronto has undertaken.”

Bruce McArthur remains behind bars, having been charged with six counts of first-degree murder, with more charges possible. McArthur has yet to enter a plea in the case, and is scheduled to return to court on March 14.