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Police 'always had that feeling' a killer lurked in the Gay Village, McArthur investigator says

Police 'always had that feeling' a killer lurked in the Gay Village, McArthur investigator says
From CBC - April 17, 2018

The lead detective investigating alleged serial killerBruce McArthur says police knew "something was up" with disappearances from Toronto's Gay Village in 2012, but a trail of evidence was not enough to prove they were murders.

"We have always had that feeling," Det.-Sgt. Hank Idsinga said of police hunches that a killer may have been preying on men in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood. Some LGBT residents say there's been open speculation within the community about that possibility for years, and that those fears were communicated to police.

"Until I have that evidence, I ca not say it. And that's what we dig for," Idsingasaid in an interview on CBC's Metro Morning.

In 2012, Idsingawas among investigators assigned to Project Houston. The task force was struck to probe the disappearances ofMajeed Kayhan,Skandaraj Navaratnam and Abdulbasir Faizi, who all went missing in the two years previous.

Police now allegeMcArthurkilled all three men, as well as five others three of whom were subjects of a later missing persons task force called Project Prism. McArthurnow faces eight counts of first-degree murder and is currently being held at Toronto South Detention Centre.

McArthur's arrest and initial charges came just over one month after Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said publicly that there was no evidence of a serial killer.

According to Idsinga, investigators with 51 Division who looked into the disappearances of Kayhan, Navaratnam and Faiziprior to Project Houston discovered evidence that Navaratnam may have been murdered.

"We investigated that piece of evidence for six months until we were able to eliminate it," Idsinga explained.

"It's easy to say in hindsight now 'well you should have known something is up.' Well we did know that something was up, we just did not know what it was and we did not have any evidence of what was going on," he said.

'It was sickening, and it was angering'

That has clearly changed, as police feel confident enough in their case to lay eight first-degree murder charges against McArthur, who worked as alandscaper.

Among the recently uncovered evidence were the remains of at least seven victims found in large garden planters at a Leaside home.

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