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Police presented surveillance video, photo evidence, and DNA evidence during a sentencing hearing Monday for serial killer Bruce McArthur.
McArthur pleaded guilty last week to eight counts of first-degree murder. Dozens of victim impact statements are expected to be heard.
The statement of facts presented in court by Crown attorney Michael Cantlon detailed the lengthy investigation into McArthur, which began in June 2017 during Project PRISM – which was looking into the disappearance of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esem.
McArthur’s defence lawyer agreed to these facts.
Global News reporter Nick Westoll was in court live-tweeting the events as they unfolded.
“Over the next few months, evidence mounted connecting Mr. McArthur to Mr. Kinsman’s disappearance,” the statement of facts reads.
McArthur was arrested on Jan. 18, 2018. He was charged in the deaths of Kinsman and Esem, as well as with six other counts of murder for the remaining victims:
- Skandaraj Navaratnam,
- Abdulbasir Faizi,
- Majeed Kayhan,
- Soroush Mahmudi,
- Kirushna Kanagaratnam,
- And Dean Lisowick.
The statement of facts shows the extent of the investigation into McArthur.
During the course of their investigation into Kinsman’s disappearance, police found a calendar entry for someone named Bruce.
They then got surveillance video from Kinsman’s neighbourhood and found he entered a red 2004 Dodge Caravan on June 26, 2017.
Police found five “Bruces” that owned a red Dodge Caravan, but only one model was from 2004 – that of Bruce McArthur.
Police then noted that McArthur had been known to police from another reported choking incident in 2016, making him a person of interest in the disappearances.
Police obtained surveillance video from McArthur’s apartment, which confirmed the van belonged to him.
The van was no longer located on the residence.
McArthur’s van found at an auto wrecking yard
Police continued to search for the van, and it was eventually found at an auto wrecking yard in Courtice, Ont.
DNA evidence including blood and semen – matching DNA profiles of Kinsman and Esen – were found in the van.
That’s when a judge granted them a warrant to covertly enter McArthur’s apartment and clone his computer and other devices on Dec. 4.
Files and photos found on McArthur’s computer
During a covert search of McArthur’s apartment, police were only able to download 45 per cent of McArthur’s computer hard drive.
The computer contained hundreds of pictures of Kinsman, going back as far as 2007.
There were also graphic photos of the victims after they were killed. Police say these pictures were deleted, but recovered through forensic analysis.
In some pictures, the bodies of the victims are posed with or wearing a fur coat. In others, the victims have a cigar placed in their mouths.
One of the victims had their head partially shaved.
The statement of facts says the photos showed a rope connected to a metal bar around Kinsman’s neck after he was dead. He wasn’t wearing any clothes. There were also ligature marks on Kinsman’s neck and wrists.
Later in the investigation, police found forensic digital evidence of a USB drive with a folder connected to each of the victims.
The folders were named with nicknames corresponding to the victims, including “Turkish Guy” for Salem Esen and “4” and “5” for Mahmoudi and Kanagaratnam, the fourth and fifth men killed – both of whose names weren’t known to McArthur.
A ninth folder was accessed as well, named “John,” and the document said it appeared to contain pictures of a man found handcuffed to McArthur’s bed during the arrest.
An external device had pictures of Navaratnam in a folder named “03” (Navaratnam was the third man killed.) There were also pictures of missing posters of three of the victims.
Other evidence gathered at McArthur’s apartment
Along with cloning his computer, police covertly gathered physical evidence when they entered his apartment on Dec. 4.
They retrieved DNA evidence from McArthur’s pillow and from a metal bar.
After he was arrested, police searched the apartment again, and found jewelry belonging to some of the victims.
A fur coat was also found in McArthur’s new van – it was later linked to photographs of the bodies of the victims found on McArthur’s devices.
A metal bar was also recovered from McArthur’s new van; police said DNA evidence on the bar belonged to some of the victims.
Tailing the suspect and arrest
Then police followed McArthur between Sept. 5 and Nov. 7.
During this process, they took trash including a fork and plate discarded by McArthur at a coffee shop to get his DNA.
McArthur was also under constant surveillance for the 15 days prior to his arrest on Jan. 18, 2018.
The statement of facts said that when police observed him bringing a man back to his apartment, they “immediately intervened.”
Police entered his apartment and found a man bound to the bed. That’s when they arrested McArthur and charged him with the murders of Esem and Kinsman.
Body parts found at Mallory Crescent home and cause of death
Portions of seven dismembered bodies were found in planters at the Mallory Crescent home. The eighth body was found in an embankment behind the home.
Medical examiners said three victims were found to have died from strangulation. The cause of death for the other five victims was unknown.
Bags of hair were found at another property which McArthur had access to. The statement of facts did not say if the hair was linked to the victims.
*with files from Global News’ Nick Westoll
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